Recent waves of redundancies at global banks in Hong Kong have one common characteristic – they’ve been aimed largely at expensive senior staff. While job hunting at the top of the banking tree has always been more difficult than at the bottom, the difference is now even more extreme.
But in which particular parts of Hong Kong financial services is it toughest (and easiest) for experienced staff to get work? To find out, we analysed at our database across 18 key finance job functions and compared the number of Hong Kong-based vacancies demanding at least 10 years’ experience with the number of local CVs at that level.
In the sectors towards the top of the table below, older candidates are currently enjoying comparatively straightforward job searches. For example, in corporate banking and private banking – two talent-short functions dependant on building long-term client relationships – there are ‘only’ 17 and 18 resumes on our database respectively for every Hong Kong vacancy.
While Hong Kong recruiters say openings for senior risk and compliance professionals aren’t as abundant as last year, the table shows that middle-office candidates are still more sought after than most other job seekers in the finance sector. Risk management tops our table.
More surprisingly, experienced capital markets bankers (15 jobs per CV) are also in demand, although this is primarily because Chinese firms are still hiring in ECM in Hong Kong as they increasingly win work from the mainland companies who now dominate new listings in the city.
By contrast, you’ll face 177 and 57 rival resumes respectively in private equity and hedge funds, if you have 10 years’ or more experience under your belt. Buy-side firms traditionally tend to hire elite analysts and associates from investment banks – senior openings remain rare.
The dramatic lack of jobs in equities (research, sales and trading) reflects more recent events. Deutsche Bank made redundancies in its Asian equities team just last month, while Credit Suisse culled dozens from its regional equities operations last year after a slump in revenues. Barclays, along with several other banks, cut jobs in 2016. These people face a bleak search for work – there are 122 roles in Hong Kong for every CV on our database in equities.
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