On August 30,The Straits Times ran a Saturday “special report” on private banking as a career in Singapore.
I loved the article. It’s just so darn fun to bitch about it.
I won’t go into the fat pay packets, the Singapore-as-finance hub spin, or even the more serious discussions on banking secrecy and money laundering in Singapore vis-à-vis Switzerland.
No, I shall stick to the light, the frivolous, and my characteristic stinging sarcasm. =)
“Managing money for other people is a great responsibility.” – Ms. Yeong Phick Fui, managing director of UBS wealth management.
Too bad UBS isn’t sooo responsible as to put its own house in order. Their clients seem to have noticed too. Pity.
“According to 20 private banking head honchos, the job requires a – deep breath – ‘mature, financially savvy, sociable yet discreet, creative yet ethical, pliant yet resilient goal-getter’ to survive and thrive.”
“For now, (Singapore) is the undisputed favourite … some nationalities such as Indonesians … make up at least half of most banks’ clientele …”
Note to private bankers: better get the pronunciation of all your Widjaya’s, Hartono’s, and Wiranto’s right. You’ll need to get your tongue around all those names while you’re fellating, just figuratively of course (what were you thinking?), those greasy Indonesians (literally greasy, from all the palm oil, coal and tobacco interests).
“Well-matched outfits (for private bankers)…Favourite brands are Brooks Brothers, Massimo Dutti, Versace, Nina Ricci and Raoul.”
Massimo Dutti? Ra…*gasp*…oul??? Oh silly me, and here I was thinking that private bankers wore Brioni, Zegna, Chanel or Balenciaga. So it’s not that glam after all.
“I don’t eat much – just a few snacks such as fruit and biscuits during the day – although occasionally I meet my clients for meals at fine restaurants.” – Private banker Ms. Lee Shu-Lyn.
That sounds like such a perfect way to keep down the weight, considering that you have like zero time to exercise. And it’s such a time-saver don’t you think? Lunch, pffft…who needs it?
“I run on adrenaline and passion … the news [fresh inflow of client funds] makes me smile and brings a perfect ending to my day.” – Private banker Ms. Lee Shu-Lyn.
Now doesn’t that sound like fulfilling work? Helping rich people get even richer. I’m sure you’ll love to be remembered for that.
“I’m thankful that my clients usually do not ask to meet me over dinner or on weekends, as they understand that I have my family commitments too.” – Private banker Ms. Lee Shu-Lyn.
My spin detector is humming. I sense that the Straits Times picked Ms. Lee Shu Lyn as an outlier case. After all, it would hardly do to scare aspiring new recruits with tales of 100-hour workweeks.
And the winning quote:
“The less glamorous side of the job … rushing clients’ suits to the dry cleaner … and even picking up their children from school. ‘Such tasks can be time-consuming, but you should consider it a privilege because the client considers you a close enough friend to ask you for help,’ said one banker.”
We should all be so lucky to have such friends. Sighz, sounds like a job a million girls would die for.