Stratagem Recruitment News Nov 2015 – November 2015

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Welcome to our November 2015 newsletter.
We hope you enjoy our latest update on what's going on in the current recruitment market.
We have also included some gossip about various firms, active hiring areas and salary trends we are seeing right now.
Hopefully job seekers and employers alike will find the below information useful. As usual, please feel free to forward this around to your friends!

Quick gossip from the market:

  • o    2 mergers in the fund administration world are due for completion in early 2016.
  •      At least one of these is looking to make new hires as it grows into new business lines.
  • o    Major US house is growing their tech risk team in Hong Kong with several new ED level hires.
  • o    Singaporean Bank presses forward with hiring plans in Hong Kong.
  • o    New player in the Big Data/ Cloud world has been steadily attracting talent from its arguably better known rival.
  • o    Singaporean Bank opens up salary boundaries in Singapore to attract top talent.
  • o    Major global tech company announces Big Data consulting to finance industry as a core business strategy.
  • o    Global Bank with very strong Singapore presence makes severe headcount cuts globally. Senior staff also affected.
  • o    Major US house relocates several senior people in operations from Singapore to Hong Kong. No cuts.
  • o    Chinese Brokerage with significant presence in HK accelerates plans for IPO in next few months.
  • o    European Bank offering inflated salaries and titles to attract talent in Singapore

The Rise of Recruitment in Big Data and Analytics

Over the last year or so we have seen a strong interest in "Big Data", statistics and analytics at the senior policy level with large financial institutions we work with.
These senior decision makers are sitting on large amounts of big data and trying to work out what to do with this information in order to attract, maintain and grow customers and their businesses in areas such as risk management, fraud prevention, marketing and cash flow performance.  This has produced a hiring surge for strong technical candidates with analytics, statistics, machine learning, data mining, SaaS, Hadoop, Spark and varied advanced software capabilities.

Of course Big Data and Analytics can apply to any industry such as technology firms, small start-ups, the public sector and so on, and we have seen hiring increase in these areas dramatically.  Interestingly strong Big Data candidates can pick and choose what industry to progress their career as we have seen examples of candidates moving from tech firms to banks and vice versa.  Cross fertilization between sectors has become quite normal.

The key skill in Big Data manipulation is mathematical/ statistical ability, coupled with a high level of technical programming know-how. In addition, candidates who have a strong business understanding have become invaluable in the market.
However employers who are holding out for this ideal combination of 3 skills may have a long wait on their hands. This is a new technology, and as with any new area it takes time for the market to mature and for individuals to gain the skills that the market wants.
As for the management of these teams, again a degree of realism is going to be essential. Rather than trying to find great all-rounders, we have seen most firms populate their big teams with strong business managers who may not not be adding so much programming value because the tech bits are beyond their depth. Firms need to draw a balance between the need for a good manager and good techies – there are not many people that can perform both. We have seen successful teams hire for both sides, and train people to be good at both in order to ensure that value is added all through the process chain.

Also, just to let you know the IDA will be holding a networking and sharing session on Friday 20th November at Mapletree Business City.  The main topic will be on HR and People Analytics which could be very useful for HR and Recruitment professionals.  Hope to see you there!


Please click through to view our full jobs board:

90390Big Data Analytics, Head of SalesManagergenerousSGD
90393Advanced Analytics Modeller / Data ScientistAVP90 - 100kSGD
90326Data Scientist Asset ManagementAVP VP70 - 140kSGD
90380Regional COO for Tech RiskED1.6 - 2mHKD
90371Senior Credit Research Lead/ApproverVP130-200kSGD

Fund Services - senior moves:

In the second half of this year we have seen several senior moves within the Fund Services world.
The market in Asia for this sector seems to be maturing with less moves at the desk production level, but several moves at the leadership level as mergers and acquisitions take place, and expatriate managers move home.
The second in command at Northern Trust recently moved over to become COO at UOB Asset Management, followed by the departure of the country head at Custom House and also one of the senior managers at Orangefield leaving at the end of November/ early December respectively.
In addition, following the sale of one of a prominent Hedgefund administration business to a large US administrator we are looking for a new regional head while the current head focuses on building new business lines within the newly merged organisation, on course to complete in January.
Another merger between Vistra and Orangefield is most likely to reach completion by March 2016.
Despite the relative buoyant job market at senior level, recruitment demand for desk level fund accountants has remained relatively low.

Banking Ops recruitment in Hong Kong vs Singapore:

Lately we are seeing a distinct difference in hiring between HK and SG in middle office/operations recruitment for the banks. Hong Kong has been quite a steady market, showing steady hiring at all levels, whereas in Singapore hiring has been much more muted in operations and occurs only in selected areas, predominantly contract roles.
This is due to the need to support mainland clients where language and regulatory requirements necessitate operations to be located in HK, and the growth of Chinese brokerages – more people have been moving from foreign houses as they start to recognize that these Chinese firms are the places to be in terms of stability and salary, and a long term career in the region.

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