Crystal ball gazing suggests good times ahead for the wallets of compliance professionals in Asia Pacific next year.
As a consequence of an existing talent shortage and rising demands for their skills in a changing regulatory environment, base salaries for compliance professionals are predicted to increase in 2011, especially in investment banking and private banking.
Compliance candidates who have Asian, European and American regulatory exposure in monitoring, surveillance, and anti money laundering are the most in demand, says Clem Cull, associate director, banking and financial services, Ambition Singapore.
In particular, firms are looking for mid-level compliance professionals at AVP level, whose salaries in Singapore are typically between S$65k and S$115k, according to Chris Mead, general manager of Hays Singapore.
Singapore-based compliance staff should expect salary rises of approximately 10 to 15 per cent next year. “We should expect further salary pressures in the post-bonus season,” says Ben Batten, head of Kelly Selection, Singapore. Continual regulatory changes in the banking sector will help fuel demand for talent, he adds.
Hong Kong is likely to witness salary hikes of between 8 and 10 per cent, says Stefanie Nitze, consultant, Taylor Root Hong Kong. But when a bank is desperate to retain or recruit, pay could jump by as much as 30 per cent, she adds.
Firms in Hong Kong are increasingly looking for senior compliance professionals who demonstrate strong influencing and interpersonal skills. They must also have the ability to integrate with the business and identify balanced solutions that are in the interests of the client, the organisation and the regulator, says Sarah Poon, consulting manager, Kelly Selection, Hong Kong.
Interestingly, although candidates with knowledge of local regulations are favoured, the talent shortage means that in 2011 firms in Hong Kong and Singapore will increasingly search outside Asia for staff, with the US, UK and Australia being the main hunting grounds.