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Kung Hei Fat Choi

What will the Year of the Dog mean for recruitment in financial services?

The year of the dog promises great and positive change and market sentiment across Singapore and Hong Kong reflects this for 2018.

This New Year the rise of digital continues to influence the recruitment market in financial services. Managing Risk and complying with regulation put in place to support the ever-growing technical advancements, unsurprisingly continues to drive hiring in Risk and Compliance sectors. This, alongside a strong economy makes for a busy year ahead.

Many firms are waiting until after Chinese New Year to confirm new headcount but when they’re ready to move, a more fluid market of candidates than we’ve seen in years will be ready. The year of the dog is said to be a defining year for careers and business and we are already starting to see an impact. Those who have previously kept their heads down feel that 2018 might be the year for a fresh challenge and an increasing number of candidates are more open to exploring new opportunities.

In a competitive market place for experienced talent with emerging technical and specialist skill sets we’re seeing companies offering more persuasive compensation packages. They’re also becoming more mindful of the attraction of non-financial benefits, being more accommodating with flexible working hours and working from home requests. Some financial companies could be tempted by the pull of lower costs and centralisation benefits of expanding teams in India or China but instead are looking to develop on-shore headcount because of the higher quality of talent here in Hong Kong and Singapore.

In January, across Risk and Compliance, Buy Side firms were more active than the bigger sell side Banking groups as many pay bonuses earlier and are quicker to approve new headcount. A number of these have increased headcount in both Investment and Business Compliance. The larger Asset Managers are also looking to invest in setting up dedicated Compliance Testing and Assurance teams that previously have been more common at larger international banks. They have been hiring in Investment and Operational Risk too but the majority have been replacements.

A few international banks are looking to make senior hires in the Markets Advisory space after a number of moves last year. With increased market volatility and higher trading volumes the urgency to get these unfilled vacancies is increasing. Banking groups are also continuing to invest in hires supporting their Data Analytics and Model Validation teams with candidates in this space being in high demand.

As ever, we look out for the impact new regulation will have. A key area on our radar is regulation around Crypto-currency trading and we will be monitoring how this effects the market throughout the year.

Honest and just, a dog is looked to for their advice and help. With our unparalleled network of talent and market expertise, we are excellently placed to find top-quality candidates for your roles and exciting new challenges for candidates. Please do get in touch.

Mark Moorby

Managing Director, Head of Risk (EMEA)

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