Women in finance: Kathryn Shih

Our series on influential women in Asia's finance sector continues with a profile of Kathryn Shih, UBS's head of wealth management Asia-Pacific.

Kathryn Shih is a private banking tour de force. A private banker who has worked for UBS for over 29 years, she helms the private bank with the biggest assets under management in Asia-Pacific.

Since 2002, when she took on the role as head of wealth management Asia-Pacific, she has grown the Swiss bank’s assets under management in Asia-Pacific from Sfr50 billion ($54 billion) to over Sfr270 billion ($294 billion), which is 13.5% of UBS’s total assets under management.

Based in Hong Kong, Shih provides strategic oversight of wealth management operations in Asia Pacific and spearheads development of the business across the region.

Shih joined UBS in 1987 and was appointed group managing director of the firm in 2010. She is a member of the Banking Advisory Committee in Hong Kong and is also a board member of the UBS Optimus Foundation in Switzerland.

Aside from growing the Swiss bank’s assets under management, she also plays a role in mentoring women and men within UBS.

Within the industry, she chairs the Private Wealth Management Association in Hong Kong — an association that maintains an ongoing dialogue with governments, regulators and trade bodies. The association also promotes the growth and development of the private wealth management industry in Hong Kong.

A regular golfer over the weekend with a handicap of 20, she has a son and a daughter.

FinanceAsia’s 2015 honour roll of the most influential women across the Asia Pacific region spans investment and commercial bankers.

Published as a feature in the July / August 2015 print edition of FinanceAsia, the series also presents leading women in new areas of finance such as fintech where Asian companies are among the fastest-growing in the world.

We also canvassed corporate financiers for exceptional women working in deal advisory including lawyers and accountants. In the process of researching the series, we found evidence of progress in creating more diverse workplaces in the region.

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