Bye, bye Mumbai. Financial heavyweights are investing heavily in IT platforms in Singapore.
Quality infrastructure and relatively cheap living costs are encouraging the big banks to centralise IT systems on the island. Credit Suisse is adding 900 staff to its regional support operations headquarters, and Merrill Lynch is hiring 800 for its back-office global HQ. On a smaller scale, Chicago-based Trading Technologies is to double its staff numbers in Singapore to 40 with the launch of a new Singapore Exchange gateway.
And with the Singapore Exchange updating its share-trading network, even more opportunities should be created for IT workers.
"There is huge demand for IT staff among financial institutions, particularly for testers and those with experience in C++, Java and C# programming," agrees Ruby Gupte, IT consultant at headhunters Tomnay Noble. "They will be in demand throughout the year at different levels from junior and senior to project managers. Most global banks are hiring from Asia, Australia and Europe."
And the hiring spree shows no sign of slowing down. "There's probably never been a better time to be an IT candidate in financial services, with thousands of new jobs created annually," says Roger Olofsson, who heads Robert Walters' permanent IT division in Singapore. "Candidates who catch the wave could do very well for the next five to 10 years."
Someone with three to five years' experience can expect to earn a base salary of between US$40k and US$53k, while a project manager at vice president or associate director level might earn US$99k or more, Gupte notes.
Meanwhile, a director at a bulge-bracket bank could earn between US$165k and US$200k a year, while top candidates might even earn between US$264k and US$330k, observes Olofsson. Bonuses in such positions can range from 30% to 100%, he adds.