You’re a student in Hong Kong wondering which finance job will land you a salary large enough to start saving up for an apartment by the time you’re an associate. You want to earn at least HK$50k (US$6.4k) a month – preferably a lot more – within about three or four years of graduating (i.e associate level at most banks).
Good luck. Despite the recent drive to promote juniors as banks cut senior staff, these kind of monthly pay packets remain a rarity among young finance professionals in Hong Kong. They are almost entirely absent in risk and compliance jobs at associate level, for example, even though those functions have enjoyed several years of strong salary inflation.
Which roles will pay you more than HK$50k a month as an associate? In the table below we’ve averaged out base salaries from several recruiter pay surveys to find 10 mainstream financial services jobs that make the cut.
Unsurprisingly, M&A, capital markets and equities make up the top-three positions on our table.
The fourth slot, however, is taken by change management – a function which recruiters say has enjoyed rapid salary inflation over the past 12 months. Redundancies, management restructurings, offshoring of back-office roles, and upgrading of banks’ IT systems have all upped the demand for change managers – and increased their pay.
Breaking into change management is also best done as an associate because at that level banks are most open to candidates from other departments – analyst change management jobs are rare, which limits the talent pool.
One middle-office office job (just) makes the list. Internal auditors in Hong Kong can take home monthly salaries of HK$50k, but only if they work supporting investment banking and markets divisions and are prepared to deal with longer hours and more stress as a result.
Private bankers ‘only’ earn $70k a month in Hong Kong as associates (often called ‘associate directors’ in the wealth sector), although their bonuses are higher than the other non-IBD roles on the table.
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