I am in constant discussions with senior bankers in Singapore and the following are some interesting trends which are emerging as the year progresses:
1. Markets slowing down - a lot of the banks are slowing down their hiring and in some cases there have been a hiring freezes. Further consolidation within the banks has also lead to a reduction of the number of banks involved in hiring. Recently we have witnessed a number of senior ED/ MD level bankers being asked to leave for performance issues. Banks seem to be more willing to let the under-performers go these days. As a result there are a lot more qualified senior candidates on the market than we have seen in recent years.
2. Pickier clients - banks have now got even more picker in hiring the right bankers compared to last year, with the focus being firmly on regional markets rather than international markets. With the number of senior bankers out in the market without jobs , things have become extremely competitive. Clients also are looking for ED/ MD level bankers who have an existing book, if you are a pure play manager it is going to be much tougher to land a suitable role.
3.Open sky/ Multiple markets - with onboarding of clients,capital controls , account opening , constant change in cross border regulations becoming more stringent , bankers nowadays are looking to move to platforms which offer flexibility in terms of market coverage. Banks that offer bankers the opportunity to cover more than one market are in demand. Notably a lot of smaller banks facilitate this model. With capital controls , tax amnesty & declaration of data affecting markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand in the past al
ong with up coming elections in these regions, a banker covering more than just those markets mitigates his risk in terms of performance
4.Third party approach - This year & last year we have noticed a lot of our clients specifically giving us names of bankers/ teams that they would like to hire. This highlights the far more targeted approach clients are taking to recruitment these days. Banks are using a more indirect approach in order to get the best value for money and not face embarrassment should the potential move not work out.