JPMorgan is planning to double the number of private bankers in Singapore in a bid to tap growth from Asia's second-largest wealth market.
The bank aims to carry out this expansion drive over the next two years, James Wey, the new head of Southeast Asia private banking of JPMorgan, said in an interview with Bloomberg.
The Singapore team currently covering wealthy Chinese - the latest addition to the business set up less than two years ago - is comprised of 12 relationship managers. The overall Singapore unit houses over 50 relationship managers and has traditionally covered local and Indonesian wealth.
With rapid wealth creation in China, there is a need for insightful advice around how to manage the new-found wealth
While the bank has a sizeable presence in Hong Kong, Singapore is the sole Asian place where clients can book assets.
"With rapid wealth creation in China, there is a need for insightful advice around how to manage the new-found wealth. Many large Chinese companies are using Singapore as their international headquarters. Singapore is a natural hub for wealth management because of the very clear and investor-friendly regulation," Wey said.
With China easing its restrictions for foreign firms to expand operations in the country, JPMorgan has decided to take full ownership of all mainland China operations by next year. This is part of the bank's four-year investment plan in the country.
The New York-based bank also intends to merge the team catering to the Indian clients with those handling the Singapore clients.
JPMorgan, ranked seventh among private banks in Asia excluding onshore China, competes with Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley in attracting Chinese entrepreneurs who become billionaires after listing their companies' stocks.