Change managers are hot again in Asia, and banks are offering pay rises of up to 30% for the right people. Standard Chartered has rehired one of Asia's most prominent change managers.
Arnaud Courtin has joined Stan Chart in Hong Kong as a change portfolio director after six years at Barclays in Singapore, according to his online profile. This is Courtin's second stint at Stan Chart, having led its regulatory reporting change programme between 2010 and 2011. His new remit, by contrast, spans across the bank's operations in Hong Kong.
During a 22-year career Courtin has led change projects in a several fields, including investment banking, private banking and risk while at Barclays.
There has been a resurgence in change management hiring in Hong Kong and Singapore over the past year, say recruiters. Demand is strong within private banking, for example, as firms try to integrate their operations following a flurry of takeovers in the sector, such as Bank of Singapore and DBS acquiring the Asian wealth units of Barclays and ANZ respectively.
Meanwhile, several global banks have been restructuring their entire Asian operations. Barclays has shuttered business units and refocused on investment banking within four core Asian markets, while Standard Chartered embarked on a programme of senior job losses in late 2015.
"As banks consolidate and streamline in Asia, change management roles are in demand, with SCB among the major banks aggressively hiring," says Gary Lai, managing director for Southeast Asia at recruiters Charterhouse Partnership.
There are not enough change managers at banks in Hong Kong and Singapore to meet demand, so poaching from rivals is difficult, says Lai. Banks will consider candidates from consultancies or people with more generalist project management experience.
The talent shortage means pay rises can be as high as 30% for senior change managers who move jobs, he adds.
Banks in Asia are also hiring change managers to oversee technology-driven revamps. "There's more demand this year than previous years for change management professionals in Asia, largely because of the move towards digitisation –encompassing automation, data analytics and machine learning – in the banking sector," says Christina Ng, executive director of LMA recruitment in Singapore.
Courtin began his career as a technology project manager at Credit Lyonnais in Paris, where he worked between 1995 and 1998, according to his profile. He then did stints of seven and three years (punctuated by a Chicago Booth MBA) at Credit Agricole Suisse, latterly as a senior manager in organisational and financial control change.
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