Nomura is primarily looking for senior relationship managers with big books of clients as it pushes to boost its private banking headcount and assets under management (AUM) in Singapore and Hong Kong.
The Japanese bank wants to increase its headcount of relationship managers in the two financial centres from 57 to 100 within the next three years, reports Bloomberg. It also wants to grow the AUM it manages in these cities by five times to $50bn by March 2026.
Recruitment on this scale, even over a fairly long period, may not be entirely straightforward within Asian private banking, a sector infamous for talent shortages. Nomura is currently outside the top-10 banks by headcount and AUM in ex-Japan Asia and many of its larger competitors (from Julius Baer to HSBC) are hiring aggressively. Morgan Stanley said on Friday that it wants to add 30 to 35 private bankers in Singapore and Hong Kong this year.
Who, then, is Nomura looking to hire in the Asian financial hubs? The firm wants RMs who are “adaptable” and can “make the switch easily” to a new bank, says Yuji Hibino, a senior managing director at Nomura who moved to Singapore last year from Tokyo to build out the Asia ex-Japan wealth business. But Hibino isn’t talking about youngsters – he says the most adaptable RMs are actually the “more mature” ones who have “been in the market for a long time”.
There’s another reason why Nomura wants more experienced private bankers. “As the new RMs we onboard are the more mature and senior ones, they tend to bring in the bigger clients,” Hibino tells us. The ultra-high net worth sector has become a particularly lucrative one in Asia thanks to the region’s rising population of billionaires and multi-millionaires.
Meanwhile, like rivals Credit Suisse, UBS and Deutsche Bank, Nomura wants private bankers who can work closely with their investment banking and trading counterparts. “The bigger clients benefit the most from our very successful global markets and investment banking franchise,” says Hibino. “Collaborating with other divisions within the firm is key for our RMs to tailor bespoke products and services that deliver success to our clients,” he adds.
Nomura’s Japanese roots and Japan’s ageing population make it a “very interesting time” to come on board as an RM, says Hibino. The bank’s branch network in Japan allows it to tap corporate clients who could be looking for an external partner or investors to buy them out, because they may not have immediate successors to run their businesses. “The wealth management business in Asia ex-Japan would be in a good position to connect our clients in this region to opportunities available in Japan,” he adds.
Hibino says he also likes to hire senior private bankers because they tend to be “thoughtful, meticulous, and balanced when dealing with clients” and place emphasis on wealth preservation and forging long-term relationships. “We are a Japanese company and the concept of omotenashi, which loosely translated means thoughtful hospitality, is very important for us as we serve our clients,” says Hibino.
Simon Mortlock – Read more on efinancialcareers.com