External asset manager Wrise aims to recruit more than 200 private bankers to expand its mass affluent business in Hong Kong, and Dubai wealth arm, which both opened earlier this year.

The Singapore-headquartered company wants to more than double the headcount of its mass affluent division, Wrise Prestige, over time to 300. Concurrently, it plans to aggressively hire for its core ultra-high net worth-focused wealth management business, Wrise Private, with the goal of increasing its Dubai staff from 16 to 32 employees by the end of the year.

‘At Prestige this year we are targeting 300 new staff. We already have close to 120 and we’re onboarding and recruiting more,’ Wrise Private Hong Kong CEO Joel Tan told Citywire Asia.

Wrise Prestige was established in February, initially just in Hong Kong, to focus on smaller clients with assets from $500,000. Its wealth business was rebranded to Wrise Private at the same time.

Tan is looking to add around 100 hires this year to the firm’s Hong Kong operation, which was set up last January and currently has about 60 employees. He said most of the recruits will be client-facing, predominantly relationship managers, as well as some team heads and support staff. The firm wants to lift teams out of private banks to achieve this.

In Dubai, where the EAM opened shop in January this year, Wrise Middle East CEO Dhruba Jyoti (DJ) Sengupta said he plans to ‘double the number’ of staff in the outpost’s first year.

Sengupta said he is considering hiring Chinese-speaking relationship managers, reflecting the growing amount of wealth moving from China to the Emirate. The firm wants to be able to service any of its Hong Kong or Singapore clients who have a Middle East presence across the jurisdictions.

‘We are now actively thinking about recruiting Chinese-speaking RMs in Dubai. If there are a certain amount of joint clients wanting to diversify into Dubai, we need a Chinese-speaking RM to do that,’ Sengupta told Citywire Asia.

‘There are family offices in the Middle East which are also expanding into Asia as well, because they want to look at the opportunity.’

Wrise has also been taking on graduate trainees, including around 12 second or third generation members of wealthy family clients in Hong Kong. Tan said they are mainly Chinese or Indonesian Chinese, typically educated in the UK or US, who are being put through a structured programme at the company.

‘We rotate them through the different departments, teaching them about asset management and [how to] manage their own family wealth,’ Tan said.

New and existing

Established in Singapore in 2012 by former Bank of Singapore Hong Kong boss Derrick Tan, Wrise has grown to around 230 employees currently through its consistent hiring, with the majority in Singapore, where the bulk of its investment and tech team are based.

Last month the firm recruited Hong Kong-based veteran banker Poly Cheung from China Citic Bank International, where she was head of branch banking.

Wrise does not disclose profitability or assets under management, but existing clients are moving more of their wealth onto the firm’s platform, Tan and Sengupta said.

Inflows in Dubai are a near 50/50 split between new and existing clients, with about 40% of new monies in Hong Kong coming from existing clients and the majority from new ones, according to the pair.

The company plans to continue its international expansion, making its first hire in Japan in November and mulling plans to tap into the Taiwanese market

Source: https://citywire.com/asia/news/eam-wrise-targets-200-rm-hires-across-hong-kong-and-dubai/a2444067