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Morning Coffee: Why Asian bankers leave banking

Why Asian bankers leave banking

Pushed out?

Bankers in Hong Kong and China have been busy shifting to the corporate sector for the past 12 months. Only on Tuesday we noted that Loh Long Hsiang, Standard Chartered’s deputy head of China origination and client coverage, is to join Dianrong.com, a peer-to-peer lender, as its chief operating officer.

One of his main motivations for moving was the opportunity to be in charge of company strategy to a degree you would only get in the C-suite of a bank, according to a headhunter we contacted.

But while getting to formulate the strategy of an expanding Chinese tech firm is obviously appealing, a new Finance Asia article suggests that senior Asian bankers are also quitting the sector because they fear for their jobs and think the money on offer is no longer good enough to justify the gruelling hours. In other words, push factors out of banking are just as important as pull factors into the corporate world. “Pay scales in banking have declined and the risk of redundancy has risen,” Jay Abeyasinghe, a manager at recruiters Morgan McKinley, told Finance Asia.

Several banks in Asia – from Barclays to Standard Charted – have indeed stepped up their trimming of Asia staff in the last six months, with expensive bankers aged over 40 most at risk. Yet the layoff threat isn’t the only reason why senior bankers are tiring of the sector. Headhunters we’ve spoken to recently say they’ve heard work-life balance cited more often as a motivation for bankers searching for corporate jobs. Previous conservative attitudes among Asian bankers that sacrificing salary for more free time isn’t an option appear to be finally breaking down.


BNP Paribas latest bank to cut back in Asian equities trading as it outsources to Instinet. (Financial Times)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch names Elif Bilgi Zapparoli as new co-head of corporate and investment banking for Asia Pacific. (Reuters)

Senior ANZ management tolerated a culture of sex, drugs and alcohol, say sacked traders now suing bank. (Sydney Morning Herald)

India puts DBS’s local expansion on hold. (The Hindu)

MUFG continues Southeast Asian expansion. (Bloomberg)

Graduate salaries in Singapore jump 5%. (Get.com)

Meet the Citi banker who now works in a laundry business. (Arabian Business)

Dave & Les Jacobs, Blend Images, Thinkstock

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