Bank of Singapore hires head of bespoke investments for Greater China and North Asia

SINGAPORE - Bank of Singapore (BOS), the private banking arm of OCBC Bank, has appointed Mr Kelvin Teo as head of bespoke investments for Greater China and North Asia, amid the rise of ultra high net worth (UHNW) clients in the region.

"As part of the bank's UHNW bespoke investments team, Mr Kelvin Teo will avail unique and exclusive investment opportunities to UHNW clients in Greater China and North Asia," BOS said in a press statement on Tuesday (Aug 20).

It added that these opportunities, which have been gaining traction among such clients, include direct investment opportunities in regional unicorns (start-ups valued at more than US$1 billion or S$1.39 billion) and decacorns (start-ups valued at more than US$10 billion), as well as bespoke solutions in the areas of buyout funds, and property-related financial instruments.

Each BOS ultra high net worth client has investable assets of at least US$30 million with the firm, the bank noted.

Based in Hong Kong, Mr Teo reports locally to Mr Derrick Tan, chief executive of BOS' Hong Kong Branch and global market head for Greater China and North Asia; and functionally to Ms Carolyn Tham, global head of UHNW bespoke investments. Ms Tham is based in Singapore.

Since 2017, the number of BOS ultra high net worth clients has doubled, and assets under management from this segment grew by almost 40 per cent, the bank noted.

Said Mr Tan: "We have seen an increase in demand for sophisticated product offerings and financial solutions among UHNW clients. To serve this demand, we are dedicated to growing a strong team to provide tailor-made wealth management solutions to match our clients' sophisticated level of investment needs.

"We are pleased to have Kelvin on board to lead these efforts in Hong Kong, focused on our UHNW clients. His extensive experience and leadership qualities will lend strength to our team, as we continue to grow and deepen our market share in the Greater China region and enhance the quality of our services to our clients."

Mr Teo's appointment comes after various hires for the region, which this year saw the employment of Mr Richard Hu as market head of Greater China. In addition, there were also three senior hires last year, including market heads Phonda Chan and Anne Song, as well as head of risk Jacqueline Lee.

 
 

Mr Teo joins from Credit Suisse where he was director of equity capital markets in Hong Kong, and was responsible for the origination of capital market transactions for corporate and institutional clients in the Greater China region.

BOS said Mr Teo brings with him 16 years of experience in investment banking, across various products, including initial public offerings and private investment into public equity, among other things. He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy (Honours) from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

As at June 30, BOS' asset under management (AUM) was US$111 billion, 9 per cent higher than a year ago.

The Business Times reported on Monday that at BOS, wealth flows from China and North Asia now account for 30 per cent of overall AUM, and Mr Tan aims to drive this contribution to 50 per cent, although he acknowledged that the bank has not secured a major share of wallet from Greater China clients yet.

Over the next five years, the China ultra high net worth wealth business is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 16 per cent, added Mr Tan.