Wayne Yang leaves Merrill for Deutsche

Yang's experience of integrating wealth management for super rich individuals with investment banking will be continued at Deutsche.

Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management (PWM) announced Monday that it has hired Wayne Yang to fill a newly created role as head of its key clients group for Southeast Asia. Yang was previously at Merrill Lynch, now a part of Bank of America, where he was head of ultra-high-net-worth private investment banking coverage for the Pacific Rim.

Based in Singapore, Yang will report directly to Ravi Raju, head of PWM Asia-Pacific, and will oversee the key clients group, a team dedicated to integrating the business of wealth management and investment banking for the benefit of ultra-high-net-worth clients in Southeast Asia. These clients "typically have more than €50 million under the bank's management and require investment banking services that go beyond focusing on individual wealth alone", Deutsche Bank says in a press release. Raju and Yang previously worked at Citi together and Raju was reportedly keen to hire Yang for the new role.

"With over 19 years of private banking experience, Wayne is well placed to provide stewardship to further our 'One Bank' vision, which reinforces our connectivity with the investment bank," Raju is quoted as saying in the release.

Yang worked for Citi's private banking group in Hong Kong from 1996 to 2001, and then moved to Singapore where he managed the bank's Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei private banking business. Next stop was Australia before he moved to the US to work as the Manhattan region head. He joined Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong in September 2007.

Yang joins four other senior appointments for Deutsche Bank's PWM Asia-Pacific operations since the beginning of 2009. Those moves are internal.

The concept of integrating private banking and investment banking is a tempting one, but may prove a challenge to execute in current markets. The service was originally aimed at Asian entrepreneurs who had used trade sales or IPOs to make their fortune. The Merrill approach was marketed towards 'US dollar billionaires' rather than 'just' millionaires. However, this was back in the heady days of 2007, when the Hang Seng Index was racing to 30,000. Today the index is at half that.

According to Deutsche Bank's annual report, PWM attracted net new money of €10 billion in 2008 and remained profitable. The unit has 1,000 wealth advisors and 500 investment managers in 31 countries, and 92,000 clients. Invested assets amounted to €164 billion. The unit is especially strong in Germany but has expanded into Russia and Asia in recent years.

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