As private banks in Hong Kong – most notably Credit Suisse and Julis Baer in 2017 – continue to increase their headcounts, it’s increasingly important for relationship managers to know how their compensation compares to the sector average.
If you’re wondering whether your current private banking salary in Hong Kong is above or below par, we've averaged out minimum and maximum base salary data from recruitment firms to produce the table below.
And we’ve done this across five broad levels of seniority (job titles in private banking differ from firm to firm – some include the term “director” within ranks two to four, while others prefer “VP”).
“Compensation in Hong Kong private banking has been growing significantly, especially for junior bankers, who have been receiving double-digit total compensation increases at their banks,” says an Asian wealth management consultant who asked not to be named. “More senior bankers are receiving a 6% increase in total comp this year on average.”
If you’re moving to a new private bank in Hong Kong, your base salary rise will be in the 15% to 30% range, says former Merrill Lynch private banker Rahul Sen, now head of private wealth management at search firm The Omerta Group.
Private bankers can generally negotiate better pay increases in Hong Kong than in Singapore, adds Sen. “This is because the industry is older in Hong Kong – it began to grow in the 1980s whereas in Singapore it’s only really been the past 12 to 15 years.”
But with increased pay this year comes more “performance pressure” for RMs, says Sen. “Banks aren’t willing to carry any baggage – RMs must have good revenue coming in.”
Private banking bonuses in Hong Kong
As in Singapore, your private banking bonus percentage in Hong Kong depends more on which type of bank you work for than how senior you are – although MDs are more likely to receive bonuses at the maximum level for their firm than AVPs are (and their larger salaries will ensure a higher actual bonus payment). Here are minimum and maximum bonus percentages across four key types of private banks in Hong Kong.
Private banking bonus percentages are lower at UBS and Credit Suisse because these firms offer more potential to generate large revenues via their more expansive product platforms. “If you’re a CS or UBS, you don’t need to offer a massive percentage to attract people,” says Sen.
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