In which jobs will you earn the highest base salaries in Hong Kong banking? And how much will you actually get paid when you reach the senior ranks in these roles?
To find out, we averaged out director-level pay figures across four new compensation surveys released this quarter by recruitment firms in Hong Kong.
We then eliminated jobs with an annual salary of less than HK$2m (US$258k) to produce the table below.
While the eight functions included are unsurprising – they are all in the front-office – the list does show that there is now comparatively little difference between them when it comes to senior pay.
Interestingly, the table-topping investment bankers in ECM, DCM and M&A now only earn 16% more in base pay than their private banking counterparts at director level in Hong Kong.
The total compensation gap between the two has further narrowed this year because many Hong Kong investment bankers have received zero bonuses, while pay-outs in private banking have largely been on par with previous years.
Demand for relationships managers has stayed strong in the past 12 months as private banks – most notably Credit Suisse and Julius Baer – continued to hire in large numbers. This helped to push up base pay across the sector, but left newly hired RMs with onerous first-year revenue targets.
Meanwhile, despite equities job cuts by firms such as Barclays and Standard Chartered in Hong Kong last year, senior pay in sales, trading and research remains close to that in investment banking.
“This is mainly historical – there’s certainly no big upward pressure on pay in these jobs,” says a headhunter in Hong Kong. “If anything, the pay trend is in the other direction because of e-trading helping to drive redundancies.”
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