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United Overseas’s Private Bank to Boost Headcount by 5-Fold

July 18 (Bloomberg) -- United Overseas Bank Ltd., Singapore’s smallest bank by market value, plans to increase the number of private bankers it employs by fivefold in the next five years.

The bank intends to expand headcount from 40 to about 200 people, Wilson Aw, executive director of UOB and head of its private banking division, said in an interview in Singapore today. The group aims to grow its private banking assets under management to S$50 billion ($41 billion) to S$60 billion in that timeframe, from “well above” S$10 billion now, he said.

Private banks in Asia have been adding to their headcount as the region’s millionaires surpassed that of Europe. The wealth of 3.3 million high net worth individuals in Asia-Pacific climbed to $10.8 trillion last year, exceeding the $10.2 trillion held by 3.1 million people in Europe, according to a survey by Capgemini SA and Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

United Overseas shares climbed 0.6 percent to S$19.74 as of 2:29 p.m. in Singapore trading, the highest since July 5.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sanat Vallikappen in Singapore at vallikappen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chitra Somayaji at csomayaji@bloomberg.net;

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