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In Search of Young, Talented Private Bankers

Credit Suisse is committed to making significant investment in continuously strengthening its talent base. In Asia Pacific the bank is currently running several programs to build its pipeline of young private bankers and keep pace with the region's fast growth.

Strong economic growth, entrepreneurial drive and growing capital markets have led to a surge in high net worth wealth in Asia in recent years. One of the urgent issues facing the relatively nascent private banking industry in Asia is to address the ongoing need for experienced and qualified banking professionals, as wealth and the demand for wealth management continues to grow.

Recognizing this need, Credit Suisse pursues a multi-pronged talent strategy in a tight private banking labor market in Asia. A key part of this strategic human capital focus is "Grow Your Own" (GYO) – including grooming and developing its own talent from within the bank.

High Caliber

"We want to gain a sustainable competitive advantage by attracting the right talent early, retaining them and developing the skills and institutional commitment that will result in long-term career success at Credit Suisse. This is particularly crucial for our Private Banking Asia Pacific business, where the intense demand for high caliber relationship managers far outstrips the limited talent pool available in this relatively new industry," said Alex Wade, Chief of Staff, Private Banking Asia Pacific, who oversees PB APAC's GYO strategy.

An important part of the strategy was launched in 2012 and focuses on recruiting and developing fresh campus hires through structured annual program intakes – at Analyst (Bachelor's) and Associate (MBA) level. These programs aim to groom MBA and fresh Bachelor graduates in the bank's Hong Kong and Singapore hubs to become relationship managers, assistant relationship managers, product specialists and middle office personnel. Seventy trainees have already been selected from more than 5,500 applications in the last three years, mainly across its Singapore and Hong Kong hubs. Participants undergo both on-the-job as well as structured classroom training. Now in its fourth year, recruitment for the 2015 Private Banking Full-Time and Summer Associate Programs as well as the Full-Time Analyst Program has already started.

"For all these programs, we look for good, all-round talent with a passion for the industry to forge a career with us. Key strengths sought are leadership, communication, relationship building, problem solving, driving results and integrity," Alex said.

Another important program is the Global Train to RM (GTTRM), which provides functional and sales training for nominated high-performing assistant relationship managers. The goal is to develop each participant to become a desk-ready RM who builds up or takes over a client book during or after the GTTRM. Around 25 participants have become Junior RMs since the program was introduced.

Summing up, Alex said, "Our success ultimately depends on the skills and experience of our employees. We can only succeed if we continuously develop our talent, particularly against an evolving industry landscape and increasing focus on client-facing employees' competency and skills."

In 2013, Credit Suisse employees in Singapore underwent an average of 30 hours of training each.