The recent wave of redundancies at global banks in Hong Kong had one common characteristic – it was aimed largely at expensive senior staff. While job hunting at the top of the banking tree has always between more difficult than at the bottom, the difference is now even more extreme.
But in which particular parts of Hong Kong banking is it toughest (and easiest) for experienced staff to get work?
To find out, we looked at our database across 15 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 functions dependant on building long-term client relationships – there are ‘only’ 12 and 25 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.
More surprisingly, experienced capital markets bankers (24 jobs per CV) are also in demand. Although Hong Kong has lost its crown as the world’s top destination for IPOs in first half this year, Chinese banks in the city are still hiring ECM bankers to help win deals from mainland companies who now dominate new listings in the city.
By contrast, you’ll face 78 and 119 rival resumes respectively in private equity and hedge funds, if you have 10 years’ or more experience under your belt. Buy-side firms tend to hire elite analysts and associates from investment banks – senior openings remain rare.
The dramatic lack of jobs in equities reflects more recent events. In May, Credit Suisse reportedly culled about 35 positions from its Asian equities operations after a slump in revenues. Standard Chartered, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, CLSA, Nomura, CIMB and Jefferies have also cut jobs over the past 18 months.
These people face a bleak search for work – there are 121 roles in Hong Kong for every CV on our database in equities.
Image credit: Aneese, Getty