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Citi to hire up to 1,500 people in Singapore to boost consumer wealth management businesses

SINGAPORE: Citi plans to hire up to 1,500 more employees in Singapore, as it looks to ramp up its consumer wealth management businesses amid a significant revamp.

The new hires will support its plans to triple its assets under management and increase wealth clients by two and a half times by 2025, a spokesperson told CNA on Monday (Apr 19).

Citi is also adding headcount in Hong Kong, another “wealth hub” it is focusing on in the region.

Altogether, it plans to hire about 2,300 new employees in both Hong Kong and Singapore, including 1,100 relationship managers and private bankers.

This follows the American banking group’s announcement last week that it will exit 13 consumer banking markets in Asia and Europe, citing the lack of scale to compete and a shift in focus to wealth management.

READ: Citigroup exits 13 global consumer banking markets, including China

These markets are Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Citi will instead focus its global consumer banking business on four markets - Singapore, Hong Kong, London and the United Arab Emirates.

Chief executive Jane Fraser said last week that with the refresh of its strategy, the bank will “double down” on wealth management where the growth opportunities are better.

As part of its plan, Citi intends to invest in “cutting-edge technology” in both Hong Kong and Singapore, the bank said in a press release on Monday.

Citi said that refreshed digital value propositions, such as a new mobile banking experience with enhanced wealth management tools, have helped to drive “significant” client momentum and growth in Asia Pacific in recent years.

Last year, it saw more than US$20 billion in net new money inflows across the region, marking a record year for its global wealth franchise.

“The Asia Pacific wealth market stands out in its scale and growth potential. And this is not a cyclical opportunity – it is structural, driven by the emergence of a vast middle class and the rapid development of regional capital markets,” said chief executive for Asia-Pacific Peter Babej in the release.

“Along with macro-level asset growth, Asian customers increasingly require portfolio advice, design and allocation geared toward diversification of asset types and geographic exposures,” he added.

READ: This refurbished space in Orchard Road is basically an office set in a garden

Singapore is already home to Citi’s biggest wealth advisory hub around the world, which opened doors in December last year. The hub expects to serve about 150 clients a day, according to media reports.

Citi currently employs about 8,500 people in Singapore.

Source: CNA/sk


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