DBS targets wealth segment in Middle East expansion

(From left) Mr Vivek Panavelil Chandy, Executive Director, DBS Bank Ltd, DIFC Branch; Ms Tan Su Shan, Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, DBS Bank; and Mr Rudiger von Wedel, Head of International, DBS Private Bank, share DBS’ five-y
(From left) Mr Vivek Panavelil Chandy, Executive Director, DBS Bank Ltd, DIFC Branch; Ms Tan Su Shan, Group Head, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, DBS Bank; and Mr Rudiger von Wedel, Head of International, DBS Private Bank, share DBS’ five-year wealth expansion plan in the Middle East.PHOTO: DBS

DBS has unveiled expansion plans in the Middle East to capitalise on a growing wealth segment that looks towards Asia for investment opportunities.

It will make its Dubai office a strategic hub for the region to serve clients looking to access Asian markets, the bank said yesterday.

DBS intends to double the number of private bankers in Dubai over the next five years from 20 now. The total headcount at the branch is now around 40.

The branch's total revenue has grown 20 per cent a year over the past seven years, and DBS aims to triple turnover in the next five years, largely by targeting the region's wealthy. It has also expanded its premises at the Dubai International Financial Centre.

DBS is the sixth-largest private bank in Asia in terms of assets under management, as ranked by Asian Private Banker.

Ms Tan Su Shan, DBS' group head of wealth management and consumer banking, said the United Arab Emirates and Singapore are strongly linked by shared values of innovation, technological progress and visionary thinking, making Dubai a natural choice for a regional hub.

Wealth in the Middle East remains on the rise, with the number of clients with more than US$500 million (S$688 million) in assets projected to rise by 28 per cent - from 390 last year to around 500 in 2022 - said Ms Tan.

  • 20%

  • Yearly growth in total revenue of DBS' Dubai branch over the past seven years.

DBS also announced the appointment of Mr Rudiger von Wedel as head of international, DBS Private Bank. Based in Dubai, he has taken over from Mr Rob Ioannou, who will lead DBS' wealth, trust and estate planning business, as well as building up the single family office offering and Australian desk.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2018, with the headline 'DBS targets wealth segment in Middle East expansion'. Print Edition | Subscribe