Credit Suisse Group hired nine private bankers from BNP Paribas to build its wealth management business in India and capture “booming demand” in a market dominated by local firms.
The Zurich-based bank recruited one managing director, two directors, three relationship managers and three assistant relationship managers to be based in Mumbai, Benjamin Cavalli, the South Asia private banking head, said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The Indian market has significant opportunities that both our investment banking and wealth management businesses can capture,” Cavalli said. The Swiss bank provides services ranging from financing, debt and capital market transactions, as well as trading, he said.
Credit Suisse is on a hiring spree in markets from China to Southeast Asia as it seeks to tap more business with rich Asians and boost revenue in the region. India’s total wealth has quadrupled since 2000 to $12.6 trillion last year, the bank estimates. Credit Suisse wants Asia to make up 25 per cent of group revenue in a couple of years, from 17.5 per cent now, Bloomberg reported in August.
Ravinder Singh and Ravi Malani are among the new hires from BNP Paribas, which is the fifth-largest private bank in India, according to Asian Private Banker data. The French bank said in June that it plans to exit its onshore wealth management business in India.
Singh, a managing director and strategic client adviser for India onshore, led a team of 60 at BNP Paribas. Malani joins Credit Suisse as a director and senior product manager, while Brijesh Majali comes on board as director and team leader of relationship managers and their assistants who are also joining from BNP.
Credit Suisse has some catching up to do in the India wealth business. Although it’s the second-largest private bank in Asia excluding mainland China, it ranked 13th on assets managed for the rich in India, trailing local lenders such as Kotak Wealth Management, ICICI Bank Private Banking and IIFL Wealth, Asian Private Banker data show.
While BNP is leaving the India wealth market, some others are wanting in. Oversea-Chinese Banking’s private bank, Bank of Singapore, last year agreed to partner with Mumbai-based Edelweiss Group in a deal that allows locals to access the Singapore firm’s investment offerings. Cavalli is also expanding his team in Southeast Asia.
On Monday, he said he hired former HSBC Holdings veteran Bie Lan Oey to help drive its wealth business in the region.
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