Morgan Stanley is planning to hire 30 to 35 private bankers this year for its businesses in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Morgan Stanley's Asia Pacific head of wealth management Vincent Chui told Bloomberg that the bank's "continued expansion and growth will be actually a matter for us to accelerate in 2020," adding that the new increased headcount for relationship managers could translate into "at least 50 or 60 more customer service, risk, and product specialists".
Regarding Hong Kong protests, Chui noted that the bank has not been affected.
I think in the ultra high net worth segment, there are plenty of choices"
However, he said that clients now have more queries on how and where to structure their wealth, be it Hong Kong, Singapore, the US or Europe.
"I think in the ultra high net worth segment, there are plenty of choices," Chui stated.
Chui also said that wealth creation, specifically in second-tier Chinese cities and other parts of Asia, remains very strong.
On acquisitions, Chui said the firm "will look at all opportunities" but stressed that it would expand at its own pace. Expansion at Morgan Stanley contrasts moves made by rival UBS which is seeking to ax about 500 jobs globally with a focus on Europe and Asia.
Morgan Stanley announced that it reached a record profit for 2019, partly due to its wealth business, which accounts for over 50% of its revenue.