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Asia Pacific Compliance Hiring Market Trends

Welcome to the Asia Pacific Compliance Hiring Market Trends update, focusing on key developments across Singapore and Hong Kong as we explore the dynamic landscape of recruitment in 2023 and anticipate trends for the upcoming year. In this edition, we report on the shifts and challenges across the Financial Services sector, providing insights into hiring strategies, regulatory changes, and emerging demands in the compliance and governance space.


In 2023, Singapore witnessed a marked shift towards a more cautious hiring approach, particularly notable in increments exceeding 20%, considered exceptional in the current market. The Banking industry responded proactively to developments in Singapore’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime, driving a surge in hiring for Financial Crime Compliance professionals. This heightened activity is a strategic response to fortify defences against potential inspections.

The Fund Management sector experienced a hiring slowdown due to mergers and acquisitions, yet anticipates increased demand for compliance professionals in the coming year following the repeal of the Registered Fund Management Companies (RFMC) regime. Quant Hedge Funds and Proprietary Trading Houses faced challenges in finding local talent and navigating foreign hiring.

In the aftermath of the Crypto winter, the Digital Assets and Payment sector is gradually bouncing back. Increased regulatory scrutiny has heightened the demand for compliance professionals to implement additional controls.

Looking forward to 2024, incremental compensation adjustments are expected to range from 10%-15%, reflecting the market’s volatility and the prevailing cautious hiring landscape.

Hong Kong:

As Hong Kong emerges from extended Covid isolation, the territory is witnessing a resurgence of jobs despite a global hiring slowdown. Focused on economic revitalisation and talent attraction, Hong Kong is recovering from the professional exodus during the pandemic.

The HKMA’s comprehensive measures to enhance e-banking security, in response to the rise in digital crimes, are anticipated to boost demand for professionals skilled in privacy, trade surveillance, financial crime compliance, and fraud investigations. The compliance technology sector is also set to experience increased requisitions to fortify capabilities in response to evolving regulations and heightened cybersecurity concerns.

Maintaining its status as an investment fund hub, Hong Kong is experiencing a resurgence in roles due to salary adjustments in Singapore, facilitating the recruitment of top-tier professionals at a marginal cost increase. The new Virtual Assets Services Providers (VASP) licensing regime is sparking demand for compliance professionals adept at balancing regulatory requirements and business needs.

Overall, 2024 presents an optimistic outlook for compliance professionals in Hong Kong. However, due to market volatility, incremental compensation adjustments are expected to remain in the range of 20%-25%.

For personalised insights and expert guidance in navigating the compliance and governance job market in the Asia Pacific region, please contact Serene Tan, our regional Compliance and Governance Recruitment expert. Serene brings a wealth of experience and an in-depth understanding of the evolving landscape, ensuring you make informed decisions in your career or talent acquisition journey. Reach out to Serene Tan today to explore opportunities or discuss your recruitment needs.

Serene Tan
Associate Director, Compliance & Governance, Asia Pacific

T: +(65) 6950 4501