Finance technology skills in Singapore look set to become more sought after in 2015 as banks upgrade their IT infrastructure to cope with rising corporate and consumer demand for banking services.
Do not expect a jobs boom this year, however. With some exceptions, the days of banks hiring hundreds of staff as they build new global IT hubs in Singapore are over.
The skills you now need to stand out in Singapore’s fintech sector continue to evolve – there is a particular emphasis on project-driven experience, for example.
Based on our recent conversations with hiring managers in Singapore, here are [efc_twitter text="nine financial technology jobs that will be top of banks’ hiring and internal-transfer priorities in 2015"] (along with salary ranges for mid to senior-level professionals).
These roles are in demand this year as banks grow their capability in the front office, while smaller firms on the buy-side and sell-side continue to set up in Singapore. Common skills required include C++, Python and Excel VBA for server-side development and .Net and Java technologies for front-end development. Hedge funds, meanwhile, are looking for rapid-application development skills and candidates who take a creative approach and are not bound by the more traditional development methodologies.
Technology business analysts possessing strong domain knowledge in capital markets, digital channels or corporate-transactions services have recently been in constant demand at banks in Singapore. Many private-banking and corporate-banking businesses are investing to suit the growing need of customers for digitised banking channels. There’s a skill shortage at a senior level, however, due to the common mindset among candidates that business-analysis roles are just a stepping stone into project-management positions. Too few people stay in the function long enough to take on senior-lead jobs.
The demand for project managers (PMs) is mainly at the mid-levels, where new jobs are opening up on regulatory, digitisation, and client-data projects. Hiring managers at banks in Singapore have high expectations of their PMs – they must have strong domain and product knowledge as well as stakeholder management skills. Generic PMs will find it challenging to find jobs within fintech in Singapore this year.
The demand for network engineers is expected to come from the increased number of projects in which banks are implementing new technologies. More banks are ready to invest in better network and security products to strengthen their infrastructure, for example. Cisco and Juniper are the two most highly requested skills in Singapore and there will also be some demand for experience on products such as Avaya, Nice and Microsoft Lync.
There is a growing trend for banks to expand their in-house capability to support and maintain non-bespoke software suits such as Avaloq, Murex, Temenos, Calypso and Simcorp. Instead of relying on vendors, banks in Singapore increasingly see the benefits of hiring their own talent to reduce costs and retain technical knowledge in-house.
The need for project management officers (PMOs) at banks in Singapore increased in late 2014 and is continuing into 2015. These roles are mainly hired on contract basis due to project timelines and headcount constraints. Apart from the ability to produce status report and track project timelines, banks are now seeking PMOs who understand governance and regulatory frameworks.
A number of banks are going through large transformation programmes, such as mergers and technology upgrades – all of which impact on their fintech needs. This year we foresee strong demand for change managers possessing regulatory, business-transformation and offshoring and outsourcing experience.
Financial-services management consultants will continue to be sought after by international banks in Singapore as they look to expand their in-house capabilities and minimise external strategy-consulting costs. Banks typically prefer to hire consultants from the top-tier management consulting firms with experience in areas such as business growth, cost cutting and regulatory change.
These candidates remain in steady demand due to the need for business-as-usual support and new Windows software upgrades and migration projects. These roles also include first and second-level trading support and they are growing in in line with front-office operations expansion in Singapore
By Samantha Ding, managing consultant, and Chay Creighton, senior consultant, Greythorn Specialist Technology Recruitment.