It's the start of the busy post-bonus hiring season at banks in Singapore, a time of the year when the minds of finance professionals are often fixated on their salaries.
But which jobs will you earn the highest base salaries in the Singapore finance sector? And how much will you actually get paid when you reach the senior ranks in these roles?
To find out, we averaged out director (i.e. people with about 10 years’ experience or more) base-salary figures across pay surveys from three recruitment agencies in Singapore. We then eliminated jobs with an annual salary of less than S$350k to produce the table below. We used the maximum figures from each firm’s director-level pay range, so the salaries listed are for top performers.
While the nine functions in our S$350k table are all in the front-office, there is now surprisingly little variation among them when it comes to senior pay.
The table-topping investment bankers in ECM, DCM and M&A, for example, now ‘only’ earn 20% more in base pay than their private banking counterparts at director level in Singapore. The pay gap is narrowing as demand for relationships managers stays strong and IBD hiring flatlines.
Private banks – most notably HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley in 2020 – continued to hire in large numbers in Singapore. Moreover, boutique firms such as EFG, LGT, Safra Sarasin, UBP, and VP Bank are also expanding and sometimes offering pay rises of between 30% and 50% to entice RMs to join their smaller platforms.
Meanwhile, despite Asian equities job cuts by several major banks over the past three years (most recently Deutsche Bank), senior pay in sales, trading and research remains close to that in investment banking.
The figures also suggest that bankers who move to the buy-side in Singapore probably aren’t doing so to boost the base salaries. Pay in private equity and hedge funds is still below that in IBD, although the extra rewards on offer (especially in the form of carried interest in the hedge fund sector) are potentially greater.
Photo by Luiz Centenaro on Unsplash
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