Many Japanese banks emerged from the global financial crisis in better shape than their European counterparts and are now looking to expand in Asia, which is generating more jobs in the region.
According to a recent report, Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group loaned a record US$515m overseas in the first half of 2012.
“In Singapore, especially, Japanese banks have been growing financing teams, including real estate, within their Asian investment banking divisions,” says Martin Eastgate, senior consultant, real estate and financial services, Talent2.
On the advisory side, Eastgate confirms that research and marketing teams have been developed to unearth potential investment opportunities and acquisition targets for Japanese corporates hungry for growth as a consequence of the strong yen.
“Execution will still mainly be covered in the Tokyo M&A departments. But this regional expansion will feed business into these teams, as well as grow alongside their Japanese clients on the international stage,” says Eastgate.
Over the past year, infrastructure bankers have joined with Japanese firms in Singapore to cover infrastructure and project financing.
Not much domestic bliss
Locally, however, the banking and finance job market is still tight and will remain so for the rest of this year. “With the markets down, there is a cost-cutting agenda, and as a result recruitment activity tends to be a matter of hiring replacement roles and maintaining, rather than adding, headcount,” says Guy Howard, manager, Hays Banking.
That said, there is still recruitment happening in strategic areas in Japanese banking . “There’s solid demand in risk management and compliance as regulators continue to increase scrutiny on the sector, as a consequence of the banks looking at ways to manage risk more effectively,” says Howard.
Corporate-banking relationship managers with sales expertise and contacts are also sought after.