Quantitative Analysts – On the buy side, the fund universe continues to diversify and both international and regional companies are increasingly turning to quantitatively driven strategies in the hope of maximising returns in uncertain markets. On the sell side, the continuing move towards electronic and algorithmic trading has meant that Quantitative Analysts with strong programming skills are in demand.
Equities Sales and Sales Trading – Smaller regional and Chinese firms are constantly on the lookout for experienced candidates who can bring an active client base. They are mainly seeking Cantonese and/or Mandarin speakers but there is a limited pool of good quality candidates, and salary levels at these firms rarely compete with their international rivals.
Corporate Banking Relationship Managers – While investment banking remains volatile, banks are refocusing their resources on growing their corporate banking business where there is a steady stream of income. Experienced Relationship Managers are in demand, especially those able to bring onboard new clients to immediately impact revenue growth. Cross-selling and a focus on product lines will be a priority for most banks. Local Corporate and China Corporate Relationship Managers are in highest demand.
Commercial Banking Credit Approvers – Increased business flow resulting from the addition of Local Corporate and China Corporate Relationship Managers has created the need for experienced Approvers to join the banks to review and approve transactions. Due to banks’ limited appetite for credit, Approvers will play an important role in balancing the risk and reward for bank portfolios.
Mandarin-speaking M&A Bankers – Due to the increment of cross border M&A activities, Mandarin is becoming a more important language skill for M&A Bankers. Most of the cross border M&A transactions require bankers to write a pitch book in Chinese, or even negotiate deals in Chinese with Chinese clients.
Corporate Finance – Candidates who have IPO sponsor deal closure experience are in demand as their skill sets are well rounded.
Private Bank Relationship Managers – There has been a tremendous growth in wealth within the Greater China region. To illustrate this, China has recently overtaken Japan as the number two country with the most millionaires in the world. Private banks are competing harder than ever to recruit Relationship Managers as they aim to capture this newly created wealth in the region.
AML/KYC/FATCA Managers – Experienced professionals in this area are in very strong demand at the moment. Those who have a track record in the KYC/AML/Onboarding space
and have up-to-date regulatory know-how, such as FATCA, Dodd Frank, EMIR and MiFID2, are the most highly regarded.
Front Office iBanking Compliance – Experienced candidates with expertise in front office and middle office compliance are in demand as the compliance function continues to shift towards middle office, and in some cases, even straight onto the trading floor.
Compliance Change Programme Managers – As most banks are rolling out their regulatory change programmes, these professionals are in demand at the moment. There has been
significant hiring activity across the ‘bulge bracket’ banks. The mix of PM and compliance endows these roles with more dynamism, so candidates with very strong interpersonal skills and relevant PM and compliance experience (especially AML Advisory) are in strong demand.
AML Advisory – This remains an area experiencing high levels of activity and AML candidates at all levels are sought after.
Private Wealth Management Compliance – Candidates at VP/Director level are being offered very enticing packages due to the current shortage of these professionals. We have
noticed that even buy-side candidates are willing to switch back to sell-side when offered the right conditions.