Posted inPeople MovesNews

Raffles FO hires senior DBS banker

The firm is expected to hire more staff for its Singapore office.
Marvin Koh, Raffles Family Office

Hong Kong-headquartered Raffles Family Office (RFO) has appointed Marvin Koh as managing director and relationship manager, according to Jaydee Lin, Singapore-based managing partner at RFO. He assumed his role earlier this month.

Based in Singapore, Koh will be responsible for growing the firm’s client base of ultra high net worth individuals and wealthy families in Singapore and Southeast Asia, Lin told FSA.

Koh has at least 10 years of private banking experience. He started his career at DBS in 2005, where he joined as an assistant vice president and relationship manager, according to his Linkedin profile. After that, he joined ABN Amro Private Banking and CIC Banque Privée, and rejoined DBS in 2018 as a senior director for private banking.

Koh’s hire is part of the firm’s plan of growing its office in the Lion City. The office now has about 20 staff from two people in 2018, when the firm set-up its Singapore office, according to Lin.

The Singapore team includes seven relationship managers, one portfolio manager and admin staff, Lin said in a recent interview. The Hong Kong office, which has 35 staff covering portfolio management, compliance and legal counsel, provide support to the Singapore office. “The Hong Kong office is a very oiled machine, and we plan for Singapore to do the same.”

Besides Koh, the firm is expecting to hire more bankers in Singapore this year, he added.

Focus shifted on Singapore

Last year, key appointments were made in Hong Kong. In April, Derek Loh was appointed senior portfolio manager for equities. Loh is an addition to portfolio managers Lawrence Chan and Desmond Cheung, who joined the firm in January last year. Cameron Harvey also joined RFO from BNP Paribas Wealth Management as a Hong Kong-based manager director, responsible for advising the firm’s clients in Asia and Europe.

Elsewhere, the firm has businesses in Taiwan and China, where it established a Shanghai-based joint venture in December with I-Fast China, a subsidiary of Singapore-based I-Fast.

However, Lin said in the previous interview that the firm will be focusing its efforts in Singapore this year as it has delayed its plans to expand in China.

“Because of the Covid-19 outbreak, everything has been put on hold at the moment, especially since there is a travel ban and we cannot fly there.

“At the moment, we will be focusing on Singapore,” he said, adding that business has also slowed down in Hong Kong since the protests started last year.

While Singapore is also affected by the pandemic, the firm expects that much of its new AUM will come from the Lion City, especially on the back of new regulations under the city’s global investor programme.

Effective this month, the programme will allow wealthy foreign investors to achieve permanent residency status in Singapore within 12 months if they invest S$2.5m ($1.76m) in a Singapore-based family office that has at least S$200m in assets, according to government documents.

Part of the Mark Allen Group.