People Moves

Ex-UBS Banker Reunited With Tapner As Coutts' Asia Chairman

Tara Loader Wilkinson and Tom Burroughes 22 March 2012

Ex-UBS Banker Reunited With Tapner As Coutts' Asia Chairman

Coutts, the wealth management arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, has today named a new chairman of Asia.

Coutts, the wealth management arm of Royal Bank of Scotland, said today that Timothy Chia is to be new chairman of Asia. He was previously vice-chairman for UBS investment bank and a one-time colleague of current Coutts chief Rory Tapner.

Based in Singapore, Chia will act as a senior ambassador for Coutts in the region, working closely with senior management on the strategic development of the business. He will also support regional leadership in developing the client franchise and product offering, and manage relationships with key clients and stakeholders, Coutts said in a statement emailed to this publication.

“Tim brings extensive business and industry knowledge to Coutts at a time when we are investing in our client proposition,” said Alex Classen, head of Coutts International. “Not only is Tim extremely familiar with the region, he has established an enviable network which we will look to leverage for the benefit of our clients over time."

"The region will play a key role in the bank’s ambitions to increase its international footprint to 60 per cent of overall business by 2015," Coutts said in its statement.

Chia left his previous role at Switzerland’s largest bank on 30 September 2011, confirmed a source close to the bank. He was appointed to the role in January 2009 to oversee key client relationships, major transactions and strategic initiatives. Coutts confirmed to this publication that he used to work at UBS.

Chia will be rejoining his former colleague Tapner, who was appointed to the role of chief executive of wealth management for RBS in September 2010. Tapner, who is a member of RBS’s group management committee and a director of Coutts, was global head of investment banking at UBS and subsequently chairman and CEO of UBS across Asia-Pacific. He was on its group executive board until his exit from UBS in July 2009.

Chia takes up the role which has been vacant since the departure of former joint-CEO of RBS Coutts, Hanspeter Brunner. Brunner left the firm late in 2009, followed by over 100 RBS employees who resigned en masse. Brunner had also acted as Asia chairman.

Chia’s former roles also include nine years as president of PAMA Group, formerly known as Prudential Asset Management Asia, until his retirement in 2004.

Chia’s appointment at Coutts follows a wide-scale rebranding and restructuring drive by the 300 year-old bank, which involved dropping the RBS from its name, bringing all of its wealth management operations under the name Coutts (with the exception of Edinburgh-based Adam & Co) and flattening its private banking management ranks in Asia through the elimination of a head of sector for North and South Asia. Instead, Coutts has appointed regional heads of private banking.

Chia is concurrently Chairman of Hup Soon Global Corporation and holds directorships in Banyan Tree Holdings, Fraser and Neave and SP PowerGrid. He also sits on the board of SPI (Australia) Assets Pty Ltd.


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