Corporate Banking Relationship Managers – These are important revenue generating candidates within corporate banking. Employers expect newly hired managers to be able to onboard new clients while managing existing accounts. In high demand are Senior Relationship Managers and Team Heads that focus on Chinese Corporations. We expect the next in demand role to be Middle Market Relationship Managers that focus on customer segments with sales turnover between HKD200 million - $2 billion. Candidates with more than seven years’ experience are especially sought after.
Credit Approvers – Growth in frontline services also creates opportunities for more headcount in Credit Approval. These professionals review the new credit application submissions for transactions from clients. Credit Approvers with more than 10 years of experience are in most demand.
Transaction Banking specialists – These are product specialists who work alongside Relationship Managers to promote cash, trade, structured financing and other customised solutions products to increase cross selling opportunities. There are many smaller banks that are starting to set up these departments to parallel their larger bank offerings. As a result, Directors with more than ten years’ experience are in demand.
Hedge Funds Portfolio Managers – The number of hedge fund start-ups has increased over 20 per cent year-on-year. As a result cash in-flows are returning to Asia-focused equities, special situations and macro funds.
Front Office Compliance specialists – These professionals remain in high demand despite more qualified candidates becoming available at the start of the year. The demand is due to ongoing new regulations and regulatory changes. In addition to due diligence and onboarding technical skills, candidates that have more front office and business experience are favoured as they provide additional value to employers. A shortage of skills remains for candidates who have seven years’ experience at manager level or above.
There has been plenty of recruitment activity within corporate and commercial banking, however banks are becoming increasingly strict about their candidate requirements and are cost-conscious when it comes to putting together compensation packages. This usually leads to a longer hiring process.
As banks are increasingly doing business in China, candidates with Mandarin and Cantonese language skills coupled with recent work experience in China are in demand. These remain key requirements for any banking professional looking to secure a permanent post in Hong Kong.