Asian Women Top Men Private Bankers

    Kerry Consulting

    Bloomberg has recently interviewed our general manager, Pan Zaixian to collect his views on women and their success in the private banking sector.

    Women do have a number of strength playing to their advantage and success in private banking including ‘soft touch’ and ‘detecting conflicts’ skills.

    Soft Touch – Some Asian clients also entrust female private bankers more than their male counterparts to educate young family members about investments, risks and family-wealth planning, according to Tan Su Shan, head of private and consumer banking at DBS Group Holdings Ltd.

    “After a while they get close to you, so you have the relationship with the next generation as well,” said Lim, who started her private-banking career at UBS in 2000. “Men tend to be big picture, and they’re not very into details.” The ability to employ the “soft touch,” such as sending flowers or a box of chocolates to a client, whether male or female, gives a woman an advantage over her male counterpart, said Lim. If male bankers do the same, “it may send a wrong message” of romantic interest or lack of manliness, she said. “In general, Asian clients like to deal with female bankers because they’re perceived to be more caring,” she said. When a client mentions his son is studying in Australia and is homesick, a female banker may be faster to pick up on that and think of something to do, she said, such as sending a care package with favorite foods.

    Detecting Conflicts – Women can sometimes more easily detect conflicts between family members, figure out when the wife is in charge of finances even when the husband is doing all the talking and know how to ask the right question without sounding intrusive, said DBS’s Tan. “It’s more what’s not said,” she explained, adding that in numerous meetings with millionaire male clients there’s a “very silent, quiet lady next to them. No decision gets made without their go-ahead.” A degree of flexibility in working hours and the ability to take time off for family draws women to the profession. Women in Asia’s major cities have access to more-affordable domestic help than in Europe or
    the U.S., as well as family assistance in providing child care, making it easier for women to have professional careers, said Tan.

    In terms of Salaries, Pan says he hasn’t observed “any difference between men and women in private-banking” compensation. Salaries of Singapore-based private bankers range from S$90,000 ($72,600) to S$500,000, plus bonuses, depending on the amount of assets managed, said Pan Zaixian.

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