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2019 Financial Services Front Office Salary Guide

Financial Services Front Office Salary Guide

Submitted by global_admin on Fri, 01/04/2019 - 17:56
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View the 2019 salaries across Investment Banking and Capital Markets, Corporate Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Hedge Funds.

Investment BankingCorporate BankingPrivate BankingAsset ManagementHedge Funds
Commentary on Financial Services Front Office Roles and Remuneration in Hong Kong for 2019


All Figures shown are in HK$

Banking & Financial Services

Front Office Salaries Low High Average
Investment Banking
Analyst 30,000 90,000 60,000+
Associate 50,000 150,000 80,000+
VP 75,000 200,000 100,000+
Director 100,000 250,000 150,000+
Private Equity
Analyst 35,000 60,000 50,000+
Associate 70,000 145,000 100,000+
VP 130,000 185,000 150,000+
Senior Director 160,000 250,000 180,000+
Associate - CB - Relationship Manager 30,000 40,000 30,000+
AVP - CB - Relationship Manager 40,000 50,000 45,000+
VP - CB - Relationship Manager 50,000 80,000 65,000+
SVP - CB - Relationship Manager/Team Head 80,000 120,000 90,000+
Project Finance - Analyst 35,000 55,000 40,000+
Project Finance - Associate 50,000 80,000 60,000+
Project Finance - Associate Director/Vice President 70,000 120,000 80,000+
Project Finance - Director 90,000 150,000 100,000+
Project Finance - Managing Dierctor 120,000 180,000 120,000+
Structured Finance - Analyst 35,000 55,000 40,000+
Structured Finance - Associate 50,000 80,000 60,000+
Structured Finance - Associate Director/Vice President 70,000 120,000 80,000+
Structured Finance - Director 90,000 150,000 100,000+
Structured Finance - Managing Director 120,000 180,000 120,000+
Private Bank Relationship Manager 120,000 225,000 150,000+
Assistant Relationship Manager 30,000 80,000 50,000+
Product Specialist - Associate 30,000 50,000 40,000+
Product Specialist - Associate Director/Vice President 50,000 80,000 70,000+
Product Specialist - Director 80,000 125,000 100,000+
Product Specialist - Executive Director 120,000 150,000 130,000+
Product Specialist - Managing Director 150,000 200,000 150,000+
Fund Manager / Portfolio Manager 80,000 200,000 120,000+
Product Specialist - AM 30,000 120,000 50,000+
Senior Investment Analyst 60,000 120,000 80,000+
Investment Analyst 30,000 70,000 50,000+
Retail Distribution Sales 35,000 150,000 60,000+
PB Sales 35,000 150,000 60,000+
Institutional Sales 35,000 150,000 60,000+
HEDGE FUNDS Low High Average
Portfolior Manager - VP 70,000 120,000 80,000+
Fund/Portfolior Manager - SVP 80,000 150,000 100,000+
Fund/Portfolior Manager - Senior Director 140,000 200,000 150,000+
Investment Analyst 50,000 120,000 70,000+
Senior Investment Analyst 80,000 150,000 90,000+
Trader - VP 70,000 100,000 80,000+
Trader - SVP 90,000 180,000 120,000+
Trader - Senior Director 120,000 200,000+ 150,000+
Investor Relations - VP 65,000 90,000 75,000+
Investor Relations - SVP 80,000 120,000 90,000+
Investor Relations - Senior Director 100,000 150,000 120,000+

Commentary on Financial Services Front Office Roles and Remuneration in Hong Kong for 2019  

2018 Trends in Front-Office Recruitment in Hong Kong

2018 can only be described as a mixed but steady year for front-office recruitment. In general, corporate and private banking led the way in the number of hires, while the investment banking side remained quieter over the 12-month period. The beginning of the year had a slow start in response to regulations like GDPR, with things gradually picking up in the second half of the year. Organisations continue to be on the lookout for high-performing Relationship Managers (RMs) that can bring in business, and as the talent pool in Hong Kong stays shallow it remains a bullish market for talent.

Overall, the Hong Kong financial recruitment market is seeing a downward trend with many organisations cutting their local headcount. More junior staff are being relocated or asked to move to other markets like Shanghai, while senior roles remain in Hong Kong. We expect to see operations scale down in the city as more firms expand in and move towards Greater China. Hong Kong remains a language-driven market and 2018 saw fluency in Mandarin become a more dominant requirement for around 95% of front-office roles.


In-demand Roles, Skills and qualifications for Front-Office Professionals

High-performing Relationship Managers are continually in demand from retail, corporate, and particularly private banks which continue to hire in large numbers. With the wealth of China on the rise, banks are always looking for RMs to look after individual and corporate clients.

This year saw more demand for cross-border M&A talent with top-tier European and US banks hiring more people. 2018 had less of a focus on IPOs and, as a result, Chinese banks remained quieter in their hiring in 2018. Similarly, with uncertainty in the market, the equities business remained quiet overall due to some apprehension regarding US-China trade. In contrast, we saw a number of hedge funds looking to expand in Asia this year as they seek out new areas of growth and a higher likelihood of finding returns in a region with fewer competitors.

Hiring managers placed Mandarin ability as an essential requirement for front-office employees and non-Mandarin speakers found it increasingly challenging to secure roles. In terms of salary increases and decreases, high performing relationship managers remain well compensated. We saw a decrease in salaries for the equities market, in correlation with equities taking a back seat.

Workplace Trends Impacting Front-Office Professionals in Hong Kong

Corporate and retail banking remain hot in the market with a high inflow of candidates. In investment banking, there is a talent gap for junior VPs, a result of the fallout from the financial crisis that created a hiring gap. There continued to be fierce competition in the private banking sector for well-performing relationship managers, and mid-level professionals are always hard to find in investment banking.

Much like other sectors, work-life balance is becoming a major trend in Hong Kong. We have seen an increasing number of candidates pursue work-life balance and job security over higher pay, and many former bankers have made sideways moves into rating agencies as a result. At the same time, we are seeing fewer institutions asking investment bankers to come in on weekends, alongside soft changes such as providing higher quality food in canteens to promote wellness amongst employees.

What Does the Future Hold for Front-Office Professionals? Predictions for 2019 and Beyond

We expect 2019 to hold a “wait and see” hiring culture due to uncertainty regarding US-China trade relations. Banks are remaining conservative but the situation should become clearer towards March and April once bonuses are paid. With the wealth of Hong Kong on the rise, we expect demand for talent in corporate banking to rise over the next year alongside retail banking.

With the shortage of talent in certain disciplines, hiring managers are advised to snap up talent by speeding up their hiring processes. The longer a candidate has to wait to receive an offer, the more likely it becomes that they will accept an offer from elsewhere, particularly for private bankers with strong experience and a record of high performance.

Advice for candidates is to learn Mandarin. While English remains the dominant language for financial markets, banks are fixated on hiring Mandarin speakers and mandatory Mandarin is becoming a common requirement across a range of roles.

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