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2019 Risk Salary Guide

Risk Salary Guide

Submitted by global_admin on Fri, 01/04/2019 - 10:53
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Expected permanent and contract Risk Management salaries across Credit Risk, Operational Risk, Market Risk and Business Risk in Hong Kong for 2019.

Commentary on Risk Roles and Remuneration in Hong Kong for 2019


 All Figures shown are in HK$


Risk Management Salaries
Role Low High Average
Head of Risk 130,000 280,000 200,000
Risk Manager 75,000 135,000 100,000
Market Risk Analyst 40,000 80,000 65,000
Head of Market Risk 130,000 250,000 180,000
Market Risk Manager 75,000 135,000 100,000
Credit Risk Analyst 35,000 80,000 60,000
Credit Risk Manager 70,000 130,000 95,000
Operational Risk Analyst 30,000 75,000 60,000
Operational Risk Manager 70,000 130,000 95,000
Business Continuity Manager 70,000 130,000 95,000
Quant Analyst 70,000 150,000 100,000

Commentary on Risk Roles and Remuneration in Hong Kong for 2019

Hong Kong Risk Recruitment 2019 Salary Guide

2018 saw good demand for credit and corporate risk talent from banks and financial institutions in Hong Kong. Spurred by the strong performance of markets in North Asia, new headcounts were created and the labour market remains fluid with talent moving between organisations. Notably this year, we saw high demand for individuals in credit and operational risk and even the traditionally slower Q4 2018 remained active with banks hiring and seeking out talent.
Tensions between the US and China and uncertainty regarding Brexit mean that looking ahead there is some trepidation in the market which could have an impact on 2019 hiring trends. Despite this, in light of legislative changes like GDPR and a number of institutions recently stung by financial penalties, banks are striving to ensure they have solid structures in place so their control frameworks do not fall short. As banks and securities firms continue to beef up risk functions, individuals with technical and legal knowledge are a prized asset. As risk functions continue to evolve we expect the demand for talent to outstrip supply in 2019 as organisations compete for a relatively small pool of candidates.

In-demand Roles, Skills and qualifications for Risk Professionals 

There remains steady demand for candidates in the credit, operation and market risk disciplines, due to the aforementioned growth in the North Asian market and the need to ensure solid risk control structures are in place. In terms of qualifications, those that are risk certified do gain some preference when it comes to candidacy. However, experience often trumps qualifications and as long as a candidate possesses the relevant skills for the job, credit risk exposure will be the main considerations for a role.
For market risk roles, those with a quantitative background, technical degree or computer science background remain in high demand. For cybersecurity professionals, certifications like CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) or CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) are considered a prerequisite.
Technical skills and experience aside, communication skills remain key for risk professionals in senior roles. With an increased need for business partnering, being able to adequately explain a risk perspective and clearly and convincingly state a case is essential and highly valued.

Workplace Trends Impacting Risk Professionals in Hong Kong

Diversity is something businesses are paying increased attention to and companies are pushing for diversity and inclusion ratios globally. Credit risk has typically seen more applications from male than female candidates and we are seeing requests for more diversity in the candidate pool put forward for a position, both in terms of the male to female ratio and in regards to seeing candidates from diverse markets and backgrounds.
While flexible working trends are impacting many disciplines, we are not seeing flexible work arrangements impact the risk sector. While the exact arrangements vary from bank to bank, due to the nature and high volume of work in the risk discipline, working hours have remained rigid.
The past few years have seen many institutions move simple risk and surveillance functions offshore. Despite this, we anticipate senior hiring to remain hot in Hong Kong, driven by the city’s status as a global financial hub and the increased need for business partnering.
In terms of salary trends, generally Chinese firms are paying higher bonuses to employees compared to US and European banks. As a result, European and US banks are increasing base salaries to remain competitive in the overall package they offer to employees. Brand names remain a selling point for candidates across risk because they view larger firms as having more diverse on-the-job experience.

What Does the Future Hold for Risk Professionals? Predictions for 2019 and Beyond

We expect demand for risk talent to continue to follow 2018 patterns with sustained hiring throughout the year. With Brexit on the horizon, European banks will be most impacted and are expected to beef up their teams as a result.
Advice for clients is that with demand for talent remaining high, it is worth hiring employees with the potential to grow into a role. To widen the talent pool, institutions are advised to look beyond their specialism, for example, investment banks should widen the pool to commercial and private banking and asset management to have a larger amount of talent to choose from.
Advice for candidates is to be open to opportunity and not to limit options due to hearsay. While the risk sector is small and word travels fast, take the time to see for yourself what a working culture, team or job role is about, rather than basing decisions on the opinions of others.

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