VP Bank plans to boost hiring as it expands

The local unit of Liechtenstein's VP Bank plans to double headcount here in the next two to three years as it approaches its first decade in Singapore.

Singapore chief executive Bruno Morel told a briefing yesterday that the boutique private bank, which has been in Singapore since 2008, now has about 40 employees here.

"We have the products, clients and commitment from the head office. What we need is people, specialists for every market we focus on," he said.

The local office targets key Asian markets - Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

Mr Christoph Mauchle, the bank's head of client business, added: "Our immediate plans include the strengthening of the local management team through the hiring of relationship managers; boosting of credit and compliance competencies as regulatory pressures intensify within the region; as well as preparing for inorganic growth of the bank through mergers and acquisitions when the opportunities arise."

VP Bank is a pure play private bank, focusing on asset management services for private individuals and intermediaries, such as family offices, external asset managers and lawyers. It manages 41.5 billion Swiss francs (S$59 billion) of client assets worldwide.

Mr Morel said the bank specialises in tailor-made wealth management services for each client. "If you need a suit, you could go to a tailor with a big shop and they may show you a half-made suit which they can adjust to your body, charge you a high price, then call it 'tailor-made'," he said.

"But here, we take your measurements, take a blank piece of paper and draw up something from scratch for you."

Mr Thomas Rupf, VP's Asia head of investment advisory and treasury, said the bank is advising clients to reallocate funds from developed markets to emerging Asian economies in this half of the year, as uncertainties in the region are declining and growth is stabilising.

Valuations of stocks in developed markets have also outpaced corporate earnings, which have been stagnating, he noted. "Passive investing times are over. Investors should focus on active stock selection."

Yasmine Yahya

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2017, with the headline 'VP Bank plans to boost hiring as it expands'. Print Edition | Subscribe