HSBC Loses Two Senior Investment Bankers Amid Talent War

HSBC Holdings Plc has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia, according to people familiar with the matter, as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows down.

Nate Tan, a managing director, has left the British lender and will join Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Ltd. in its digital banking platform team, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Tan was HSBC’s head of financial institutions group investment banking in Southeast Asia, and had been at HSBC since 2017 after stints at UBS Group AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Singapore and Hong Kong, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Separately, James Wong, a senior director on HSBC’s FIG team who focused on deals involving fintech firms, has also left to join Morgan Stanley, the people said. Wong, who is based in Hong Kong, was hired by HSBC last year after more than a decade at UBS.

Representatives for HSBC, Morgan Stanley and UOB declined to comment.

Banks are competing for dealmakers at all levels of seniority and are raising bonuses to try and keep their stars, despite a slowdown in transactions. The volume of global deals has dropped 12.5% this year to $2.1 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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Tan and Wong’s departures join several other recent moves in the sector. Aayush Jhunjhunwala, a banker in Bank of America Corp.’s technology, media and telecommunications team in Southeast Asia, is leaving to join private equity-backed fintech firm Voyager Innovations Inc., Bloomberg News reported last week. Riot Blockchain Inc., a Bitcoin infrastructure company, has hired investment banker Jason Chung from Nomura Holdings Inc. as its head of corporate development, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.

Singapore’s digital banking scene is expected to heat up after its central bank issued licenses to technology companies, which are set to compete with the city-state’s top three banks — DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and UOB.

Ant Group Co., one of the four to be given a digital bank license, as well as a consortium involving China’s Greenland Financial Holdings Group Co. launched their platforms recently. Sea Ltd. and a venture led by Grab Holdings Ltd. could start operations later this year. 

— With assistance by Elffie Chew, and Faris Mokhtar

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