UBS Said to Poach Deutsche Bank’s Top Asia Private Bankers

  • Yim to replace Raju as Asia wealth chief, Deutsche Bank says
  • Latest defections amid growing competition for Asian wealth

Deutsche Bank AG’s top private bankers in Asia, Ravi Raju and Anurag Mahesh, are leaving after almost a decade with the firm to join UBS Group AG, a person with knowledge of the matter said. 

Raju, who was Deutsche Bank’s Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific head of wealth management, will start at UBS in January in a senior management role, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Deutsche Bank named North Asia wealth management chief Lok Yim as Raju’s replacement, Liza Ding, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman for the firm, said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. 

The moves come after Deutsche Bank separated its asset and wealth management arms in January, and as the company contends with challenges including soaring legal costs and plunging shares. Raju, who previously led both units in the Asia-Pacific region, said in June the firm was looking to grow its wealth management business in the region by boosting headcount by more than 50 percent over the next five years. 

Deutsche Bank isn’t the only firm to face defections in Asia as global banks compete for a share of the region’s rapidly expanding wealth management business. Standard Chartered Plc stepped up hiring from Barclays Plc’s private-banking team in Hong Kong earlier this year, even as Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. agreed to buy the Barclays business.

Asia’s Importance

Raju has decided to pursue external opportunities, according to the e-mailed statement. Succession plans for Mahesh, Deutsche Bank’s Singapore-based global head of key client partners, will be announced in due course, the statement said.

Mark Panday, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for UBS, declined to comment. Raju and Mahesh didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment. Asian Private Banker reported the moves earlier, citing unidentified people.

“Asia Pacific continues to be one of the cornerstones of our global investment plans and will only strengthen in importance over time,” Deutsche Bank’s Ding said, adding that the company’s wealth management strategy in the region remains unchanged.

Fabrizio Campelli, the lender’s global wealth management head, said in an interview in July that Asia’s wealth outlook remains “more positive than pretty much any other part of the world.” He said the bank was adding relationship managers in the region after expanding its focus to the high net worth segment, or those with assets in the $5 million to $20 million range, from people that are wealthier.

Raju and Mahesh both joined Deutsche Bank in 2007 from Citigroup Inc., their LinkedIn profiles show. Deutsche Bank runs Asia’s eighth largest private bank, with total assets under management of $66 billion last year, according to Asian Private Banker.

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