The Business Times

HSBC loses 2 senior investment bankers amid talent war

Published Tue, Jun 21, 2022 · 04:49 PM

HSBC Holdings has lost 2 senior investment bankers in Asia, according to people familiar with the matter, as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows down.

Nate Tan, a managing director, has left the British lender and will join Singapore's United Overseas Bank in its digital banking platform team, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Tan was HSBC's head of financial institutions group investment banking in South-east Asia, and had been at HSBC since 2017 after stints at UBS Group and JPMorgan Chase in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Separately, James Wong, a senior director on HSBC's FIG team who focused on deals involving fintech firms, has also left to join Morgan Stanley, the people said. Wong, who is based in Hong Kong, was hired by HSBC last year after more than a decade at UBS.

Representatives for HSBC, Morgan Stanley and UOB declined to comment.

Banks are competing for dealmakers at all levels of seniority and are raising bonuses to try and keep their stars, despite a slowdown in transactions. The volume of global deals has dropped 12.5 per cent this year to US$2.1 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tan and Wong's departures join several other recent moves in the sector. Aayush Jhunjhunwala, a banker in Bank of America's technology, media and telecommunications team in South-east Asia, is leaving to join private equity-backed fintech firm Voyager Innovations, Bloomberg News reported last week. Riot Blockchain, a Bitcoin infrastructure company, has hired investment banker Jason Chung from Nomura Holdings as its head of corporate development, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

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Singapore's digital banking scene is expected to heat up after its central bank issued licences to technology companies, which are set to compete with the city-state's top 3 banks -- DBS Group Holdings, Oversea-Chinese Banking and UOB.

Ant Group, one of the 4 to be given a digital bank licence, as well as a consortium involving China's Greenland Financial Holdings Group launched their platforms recently. Sea and a venture led by Grab Holdings could start operations later this year. BLOOMBERG

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