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Private banking units staff up

Ultra wealthy not the key for revenue; Case for open architecture looks flawed

Hirings in the private banking industry are increasing as financial institutions aim to improve their coverage of high-net-worth clients. In November, UBS announced the recruitment of three senior bankers into its southeast Asia ultra-high-net-worth business from JPMorgan. In October, the firm stated its intention of growing its business by as much as 100% over the next five years in Asia. It reported inflows into its wealth management business in the third quarter, after quarterly outflows since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. This indicates that the tide has turned for UBS since it suffered reputational damage during the crisis and from being caught helping US clients evade taxes.

Barclays Wealth has been similarly bolstering its relationship manager base. The firm has added 14 bankers in the UK and Ireland over the past three months, and says it is committing an additional £350 million ($549 million) to a five-year investment programme to boost its wealth management business globally.

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