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Morning Coffee: Former HSBC banker bemoans “excessive” job hopping in Singapore

Job hopper

A veteran former HSBC banker says job hopping in Singapore is worsening and that both employers and employees are suffering as a result. Victor Mills, now chief executive of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC), told the Straits Times  that “excessive job-hopping” caused in part by a tight labour market is a “challenge” for many businesses. “There are just too many stories of people leaving their jobs after a couple of months. I’ve not seen so many morose people in the workforce. All this job-hopping is stressful, and it doesn’t produce a lot of happiness,” he said.

“I have seen one extreme example in the SICC. We had employed an assistant finance manager who had a lovely personality with all the right experience and skills. We thought we hit gold. But she turned up for work for just one day and then disappeared. When we tracked her down a few days later, she was not answering her phone, she said: ‘It just wasn’t for me’.”

Mills told the Straits Times that some employees in Singapore have developed a sense of entitlement that stops them from properly settling into a role and from being about to accept feedback from colleagues. Mills himself is no job-hopper. He was the head of sub-custody and clearing at HSBC Securities Services in Singapore between 2006 and 2011 before joining SICC. He also held other senior roles at the bank, according to his LinkedIn profile, in a banking career dating back to the mid-1980s.

Mills is not the only senior finance professional in Asia to have spoken out against job hopping. Bin Wolfe, managing partner of talent at EY for Asia Pacific, told us that China was awash with job-hopping candidates. Nicholas Johnson, an MD at J.P. Morgan in Hong Kong, bemoaned receiving “bits-and-bobs CVs”, while Andrew Hendry, Asia managing director of M&G Investments, said there were too many job hoppers in Singapore.

Meanwhile:

Haitong International Securities may take on up to 100 bankers laid off by foreign banks in Hong Kong…then again it may not hire any if they’re aren’t “suitable”. (Bloomberg)

Standard Chartered has reportedly hired headhunters Egon Zehnder as it looks to replace chief executive Peter Sands. (Financial Times)

Regional banks better at meeting emerging markets’ retail demand. (Business Times)

Banks in Asia, in particular ANZ and Standard Chartered, hit hard by slump in commodities prices. (South China Morning Post)

SGX in joint venture to launch equity crowdfunding platform. (Straits Times)

Despite Occupy protests, mainland students still want to study in Hong Kong. (Asia One)


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