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Banking jobs in Singapore

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Marck123
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Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 5:43 am

Hi all,

I am a British citizen who is very interested in working in Singapore. I’m looking specifically for risk management roles in banking. What I do have in my favour is that I currently work for a top US investment bank in London in a market risk related role. However, I realise this is still a difficult proposition, particularly with the strong local competition and that I am not that senior in my current role. Neither do I speak Mandarin.

Any advice or contacts would be greatly appreciated.

I have registered with a few SG recruitment consultants but so far I have had no luck.

Thanks,

Marck

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JR8
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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 15 Mar 2016 6:19 pm

IME you'd look for an internal transfer, i.e. some form of staff development/regional rotation. If not then you can get a foot in the door if you're say a specialist in a product area, where the SGn branch are opening up dealing in those products [that's how I first transferred, oh and Nick Leeson too I suppose :)].
I think as a stand-alone transfer you have to have something really special to offer on the banking/finance side of things, and perhaps more broadly these days. More so when you consider that expats are more expensive to hire than locals.
IME in that industry you don't need Mandarin. English is the common business language for just about everything bar private/side-discussions between colleagues for whom it's their mother-tongue.
Local recruiters have a mixed reputation, many think them a waste of time. Lot's of big promises but rarely anything delivered. International head-hunters might be less of a waste of time but you're pitching there in a higher league.
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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Fri, 18 Mar 2016 6:02 am

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, in my department at work they are only expanding in the cheaper secondary hubs such as India and outside of NY in the US etc. Therefore, to get an internal transfer with work I would most probably have to join a new area and build my reputation up again in London before I would be able to go for anything abroad. Hence, my preference for trying to source something in SG directly for now.

I'm also trying roles in HK but this seems even less likely.

I was actually incredibly close on two separate occasions last year in getting an internal move to HK but for two different reasons (1. global MD in NY didn't approve it when all hiring managers/global head had approved it and 2. The scope of the role changed and became a lot more senior after I had done all rounds of interviews.) it didn't work out.

I guess I will just have to keep going and see what happens.

Regarding Nick Leeson, great film Rogue Trader!

Do you work at one of the large banks out in SG then?

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Fri, 18 Mar 2016 7:31 am

Used to work at Merrill's in the 90's. Never met Leeson (that I was aware of lol) but shared his inner-orbit, it was a tight crowd. Back then Leeson was lying low, - knew his cohorts Danny and Ches who were drinking buddies and were at least as 'mad' as the film illustrates. Very fun times. Just stupid youthful hard-playing FT crap, that's guaranteed to offend the natives etc.
I've had a transfer held up 'for ever' due to a freeze at that time; I know how it gets to you. Keep on plugging away. Don't badger the directors, just keep your hunger known. It's harder if the strings aren't being pulled on your behalf for an internal transfer.
Consider 'stepping stones' to the end goal, roles or locations. Some people have a life goal to get to say Tokyo but take SG as a compromise, and vice versa. I wanted NY but got Tokyo [feck], then from there SG [feck], then London again, THEN finally NYC ... to get soon immolated in the 1999-2001 markets.

Serious point. Do a full relo (home/job) that works for you and the employer and you're badged as a rare thing, someone willing to relo as required/appropriate for an equitable opportunity, and who can deal with it. 80% of employees won't do this, 90% with some age (family/children etc) won't. Show you're mobile, for a suitable opportunity, and I found doors opened up. Get relo'd to Tokyo.... 1,2 years.... then the next relo opens up (SG? etc) that would never be offered to a home-body back in London/NYC.

That was my experience. Back then you needed demonstrable talents vs your peers. Increasingly these days you need the same vs the local populations. The latter with any niche skills isn't hard, it's getting on the flight-path out of 'head-office' that's harder IME/O
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Primrose Hill » Fri, 18 Mar 2016 8:28 am

I have been thinking about going back into "banking". But my last banking experience was (a) in London (b) over 11/12 years ago.
However, you think certain depts. like risk/legal/compliance/settlements etc are samey whether it is a bank/interbroker dealer/trading house. Culture and ambience maybe different. However, same shite work just different outfit.
However nowadays it is all about round holes and square pegs.
Nowadays, I am beginning to wonder who gets these jobs with your Tier A bank etc - whereby their requirements are - lets say it is a regulatory job; 10 years worth of experience in related field, working knowledge of MAS regulations, working knowledge of Dodd Frank and CFTC, working knowledge of MiFID11, ESMA, EMIR, working knowledge of FCA, working knowledge of Bundesbank, working knowledge on FCPA/UKBA, mandarin speaker.

Who on earth gets these jobs?

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby hotandhumid » Mon, 28 Mar 2016 12:47 am

Hi Marck123,

I don't mean to rain on your parade but frankly speaking, the odds are very much stacked against you. You are now faced with stiff local competition, tougher immigration laws and a fairly saturated (read: tired) financial sector.

These days, skill levels of local population (esp HK and SG) are high and I would venture to say that the skill-quality of the 75th-percentile here is comparable to the 90th-percentile in the West. Niche areas like financial engineering, derivatives, capital management solutions could serve as less congested avenues.

Apologies but I don't think JR8's suggestion on being eager or flexible with relocation is going to help much. Asia is the place to be and there are throngs from the West who are knocking on her door ... why not - lower taxes, better prospects, lifestyles and cross-cultural experiences?

Finally, don't just jump at any opportunity in Asia. One needs to be reasonably assured that he will enjoy that particular work environment, culture, city, lifestyle etc otherwise he ends up far worse than when he began.

Wishing you well in your endeavours
H&H
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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Sun, 03 Apr 2016 7:38 pm

Hi JR8,

That must have been awesome and so much fun back then in SG. Shame things are not the same as back then.

Yep it certainly does get to you when you've been so close to a transfer but then yet so far on more than one occasion. Now especially as there seems to be no luck externally over there.

Wow, you've been all over. Are you back in SG now? NYC is awesome and I got to go there for a week with work but I think I would prefer Asia for now.

I have heard that being flexible would help but I haven't been offered anything even remotely close. I might actually have the opportunity to go out to HK for a week in my current role at JPM because of this piece of work I did that could be rolled out to the team there. Would be great if it happened and I would definitely try and arrange a few meetings etc if I was there.

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Sun, 03 Apr 2016 7:41 pm

Hi hotandhumid,

Thanks for your post. It does (unfortunately) echo similar things to what I've heard, especially the extremely stiff and stronger comparable local competition. If I want it badly enough I will keep plugging away and see what happens. The danger is that I delay moving to a better role here in London and keep trying to source a similar role (to my current role) in Asia whilst not achieving either of those. Perhaps I should set myself a time limit for something in Asia to work out...

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Sun, 03 Apr 2016 7:42 pm

sabrina91 wrote:I think some of the Japanese banks here are looking to increase headcount slowly again. Maybe try that?


Could be worth a try, thanks.

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Mon, 04 Apr 2016 8:24 pm

Marck123 wrote: I might actually have the opportunity to go out to HK for a week in my current role at JPM because of this piece of work I did that could be rolled out to the team there. Would be great if it happened and I would definitely try and arrange a few meetings etc if I was there.


@M123
No I left SG mid last year, currently about half-way back home, in what might be our final foreign posting.
What you describe ^ is the kind of thing that could spur a relo. If that project of yours gets rolled out, who better to oversee it's installation and bringing into production? That's a parallel of how my expatting started.
So in your shoes if you make that trip I'd keep in mind that there's a chance a relo might result. Getting there, doing the job, 'fitting in with the team' (work and play), if possible making yourself invaluable, exceeding what's asked of you, carving out your own role*, etc... you never know.
Best of luck!

p.s. within the permitted remit perhaps say writing a set of user-procedures, or a training programme, or an interface vs risk or reg reporting, and so on. i.e. going from just doing an install, to aiming at the next role above that includes the management of it's useage. (Sorry, hard to explain, but just as an example that's how I went from say speccing/testing a front>mid/office trading system, to then morphing into the FinController of what went through that system).
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

Marck123
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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Marck123 » Tue, 03 May 2016 3:44 am

JR8 wrote: @M123
No I left SG mid last year, currently about half-way back home, in what might be our final foreign posting.
What you describe ^ is the kind of thing that could spur a relo. If that project of yours gets rolled out, who better to oversee it's installation and bringing into production? That's a parallel of how my expatting started.
So in your shoes if you make that trip I'd keep in mind that there's a chance a relo might result. Getting there, doing the job, 'fitting in with the team' (work and play), if possible making yourself invaluable, exceeding what's asked of you, carving out your own role*, etc... you never know.
Best of luck!

p.s. within the permitted remit perhaps say writing a set of user-procedures, or a training programme, or an interface vs risk or reg reporting, and so on. i.e. going from just doing an install, to aiming at the next role above that includes the management of it's useage. (Sorry, hard to explain, but just as an example that's how I went from say speccing/testing a front>mid/office trading system, to then morphing into the FinController of what went through that system).


So where abouts are you now? Not sure from your location on here!

As it happens and only last week, my trip to HK got partially approved (hotel and food costs). I am flying out on Thursday and will spend the following week working from the HK office, and a few additional days on holiday before going to Shanghai for a few more days travelling.

Good advice, I will definitely try and make a very good impression while I am there by doing beyond what is asked when I roll out this project I'm working on. Though, given the relocation strategy of my department, and the fact my project is probably not substantial enough to warrant a perm move, I will investigate other opportunities while I am there. Moreover, I have contacted numerous recruitment consultants in an attempt to set up meetings, only a couple have got back to me to arrange something but still worth a shot! Also Linkedin hasn't been that helpful yet.

If I keep knocking on that door, eventually something might happen...

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby JR8 » Tue, 03 May 2016 2:16 pm

Ah nice, I hope you have an enjoyable and productive trip.

p.s. My location is wherever being the 'trailing spouse' of my hard working wife takes us :) We're ex-SIN right now.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby brian_singapore » Wed, 04 May 2016 4:33 am

I came to SG looking for work a little over 2 years ago, in bank/technology. My experience is you need to be on the ground or most recruiters and companies won't speak with you. I came for 30 days and towards the end started getting good interviews and extended my stay by another 30 days to wrap things up.

I don't know about risk, but in general I don't see a lot of competition from locals when I am recruiting to fill my own roles in technology. Despite measures like the fair consideration framework and a very heavy focus on recruiting locals / PRs from our HR I just don't receive very many cvs (often none) from them.

I was in a unique situation which allowed me to take 3 months off work to come looking with no risk to my own position back hime if things disn't workout.

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Re: Banking jobs in Singapore

Postby Lcct333 » Wed, 04 May 2016 9:06 am

I would try applying directly. There are plenty of risk jobs around in Singapore, and it is flagged by the MOM as a priority area. I have seen my Bank recently recruit a lot of external applicants from abroad.


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