By Conrad Tan
SINGAPORE - Credit Suisse has made several senior appointments in its Asia private banking business in recent weeks, amid organisational changes to strengthen its presence in the region.
The bank recently created distinct career tracks for its frontline staff who aspire to management positions, and those who prefer to focus mainly on serving clients as they progress in their careers - a change that it hopes will help it attract and retain the best bankers, said Francesco de Ferrari, the bank's new head of private banking for Asia-Pacific.
Under the new career tracks, staff who serve the bank's clients directly will progress from relationship manager (RM) to senior RM, expert RM, and senior client partner, while those on the management career path will move from team leader to sector head, then to market head and market area head.
The senior positions of expert RM and senior client partner are new, as is the role of sector head.
The changes have been introduced to ensure that top RMs who prefer to stay in their roles don't need to become managers just to progress in their careers, Mr de Ferrari said.
"Being able to have very clear career progression and performance measurement criteria is going to be increasingly important, because the only way we can become the best private bank in Asia is to have the right people in the right roles, committed to doing their job."
The changes "will help us to recognise correctly people who want to take the management track", he said.
"It will also help us attract with more clarity people in the market who want to develop their managerial ambitions, where the key determinant is the passion to see other people succeed and to grow and develop talent.
"None of this is rocket science. I think that, within our industry, maybe we just haven't been as clear in its implementation as some other industries have had to be with a lot more competitive and challenging environments to operate in."
Among the bank's latest hires is Song Kun, who joined Credit Suisse in Hong Kong from Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific, where she was managing director of investments for its private banking and investment group, responsible for very wealthy, or ultra high net worth, clients in China.
She joins Credit Suisse as a senior client partner for Greater China, also at the rank of managing director.
Jimmy Lee, who was Asia-Pacific head of Credit Suisse subsidiary Clariden Leu, has rejoined the group as a managing director after the completion of the legal merger of both banks on April 2.
He is responsible for the integration of Clariden Leu's business and reports to Mr de Ferrari.
Clariden Leu's former South-east Asia head, Yee Chin Lit, has also rejoined Credit Suisse, as a managing director and sector head in Indonesia.
This article was first published in The Business Times.