Pictet WM shakes up Asia senior management

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Tee Fong-Seng has been poached from EFG to take over as CEO of PWM in Asia, as the Geneva-based firm also lures 19 bankers from rival CS.

Fong-Seng will succeed Claude Haberer as chief executive officer in October, as part of what Pictet calls its “new strategic roadmap for wealth management in Asia”, set out by Boris Collardi, the firm’s managing partner responsible for PWM Asia.

Haberer, who took the helm in 2011 after 30 years with BNP Paribas, will be shunted up to the newly-created role of chairman of PWM Asia, “to support Collardi”, according to a press release.

Fong-Seng will be based in Singapore, where he was most recently chairman of EFG Bank’s Asia advisory board. Previously he was at Credit Suisse (CS), serving as vice chairman in Asia and CEO of the Hong Kong branch.

In fact, Collardi, who joined Pictet from Julius Baer in the middle of last year, has drunk deep from the CS well to further his ambitions to grow PWM’s Asia business.

Alex Ng quit as CS’s market head for China last week, and will replace Sharon Chou as CEO of PWM North Asia and Pictet’s Hong Kong Branch in November. He’ll bring with him a team of 18 colleagues to cover the Greater China markets.

Meanwhile, Chou will assume the new role of deputy CEO of PWM Asia, and Dominique Jooris will retain his positions as CEO of PWM South Asia and of Bank Pictet & Cie (Asia) in Singapore.

Ng, Chou and Jooris will all report directly to Fong-Seng.

Collardi said in a statement that the appointments of Fong-Seng and Ng, “along with this major recruitment initiative for Greater China…set the stage for the next stage of growth in the region”.

In contrast, his remarks about the existing management team sounded valedictory.

“The partners pay tribute first to Claude Haberer for his major role in managing this strategic region. We also thank Sharon Chou and Dominique Jooris for their instrumental role in building our franchise in Asia,” he said.

Last April, Haberer told FSA that although Pictet’s main markets in the region are mostly in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, the firm was planning to target the growing wealth in China and Indonesia – although it did not intend to hire aggressively.

Pictet employs more than 250 staff across offices in Asia. It has been present in Hong Kong since 1986 and was granted a banking licence for its wealth management services in 2012. In Singapore, it has been operating since 1995, securing a merchant banking licence in 2004 and a wholesale banking licence in 2018 under the name of Bank Pictet & Cie (Asia) Ltd.

Pictet offers only wealth management, asset management and related asset services, and had $503bn in assets under management at 31 December 2018, according to the statement.

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