Investment banking veteran Tracey Woon is leaving Citi after 12 years to join Swiss private banking giant UBS. Ms Woon, 60, will start in the third quarter of this year as vice-chairman for UBS wealth management in Asia.
She will report to UBS' head of global ultra-high net worth, Mr Joe Stadler, and Asia-Pacific head of wealth management, Mr Edmund Koh. Mr Koh said it took him almost a year to convince Ms Woon to join UBS , but he was determined as he believed her extensive background and experience in corporate and investment banking would benefit UBS' wealth management business tremendously.
"Tracey has a complementary set of skills which I need more of, 24 hours a day. My clients need a good adviser for their businesses, someone to give them strong advice to help them grow their businesses in a structured manner, commensurate with risks they want to take against the business and market environments, which she's very attuned to," he told The Straits Times yesterday.
"A lot of our clients are entrepreneurs, and a lot of billionaires in Asia today make their money from their own businesses - eight out of 10 do so. So it's important to advise them on their business in terms of investment banking and asset management services. This is where Tracey's long and strong standing in the market would put us in a good position to advise our clients."
Ms Woon said her clients are also looking forward to having her advise them on their personal and family wealth affairs.
"I've been calling my clients and they are probably more excited than I am," she said. "They are all telling me it's about time I don't just talk to them about their current corporate affairs, but go much further and deeper and think about their personal assets and wealth."
Ms Woon, a national squash champion in her youth and a mother of three children, aged 28 to 32, was the head of investment banking at Merrill Lynch in Singapore for nine years before moving to Citi in 2004.
There, she started out as its head of investment banking for Singapore and Malaysia before being named vice-chairman of Asean corporate and investment banking in 2012.
At Citi, she was not only known for her tenacity in deal-making, but was also as a champion of diversity in the workplace and a mentor to younger women. She is the past chairman of Citi Singapore Women's Council.