Singapore Expats Forum

Finding a compliance role in finance - how difficult?

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

dax123
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue, 24 Jan 2012

Finding a compliance role in finance - how difficult?

Postby dax123 » Tue, 24 Jan 2012 12:26 pm

I am a 28 year old Australian and currently work in compliance advisory for a high-profile financial institution in Australia. I am considering to relocate to Singapore and would like to work in a compliance role within financial services. Unfortunately there are no opportunities to be transferred to Singapore via my current employer.

I have done quite some research online, but I would really appreciate some input as to how difficult it might be for me to secure a job in Singapore.

What is the job market like for financial compliance roles? Are employers in this sector generally willing to employ people with overseas experience? Would there be any opportunity to secure a role while in Australia or is it absolutely necessary to make the move to Singapore first? What is the likelihood of finding employment with the market regulator (the Monetary Authority of Singapore) as a foreigner given that this is a government institution?

Many thanks in advance for any help!

Girl_Next_Door
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu, 28 Aug 2008

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 9:05 am

General compliance & AML are always in demand in Singapore, however, compliance advisory maybe slightly less popular. There are many headhunters in Singapore that specialized in only Legal & Compliance position, so you might want to reach out to them. You should also focus on regional compliance positions, as many compliance positions in SG, requires local compliance experience (unless you are applying for AU/NZ FIs).

Nonetheless, a few things to consider:
- Your seniority: If you are fairly senior, FIs might be willing to wait for you. If you are fairly junior, you would find getting a job easier, if you are in Singapore. The turnover rates of Compliance is very high, and such positions are usually filled quite quickly.
- Remuneration: As there is a generally high demand and low supply in Compliance experts, the remuneration is reasonably comfortable, based on your relevant experiences and negotiation skills. Don't expect an expatriate package because they are very rare nowadays. I know many expat compliance experts were sent back home after 2 years, i.e. once the FI managed to get the knowledge they want from that person. Unless you want a short stunt in Singapore, you should avoid being in such situation. If you are able to get a AVP/VP position (and above), I would say that a local package would still be pretty comfortable, if you are single.
- Working for MAS: I am not sure if there have been any changes in their recent hiring policy, but you rarely see any foreigners working in MAS (unless it is for an exchange program/the person is extremely senior). While you can try applying for a position there, don't be disappointed if you are not asked for an interview.
- Work culture: Do note that the compliance environment is extremely different between AU versus SG. In AU, business is the first line of defense whereas in SG, Compliance are very often said to be second line of defense but working like they are first line of defense. Working hours is also much longer in SG, compared to AU. I know many of my AU colleagues leaves at 6pm, and they reject any calls after 5pm. In SG, many compliance personnel works extremely long hours (hence, the high turnover rates, and low supply). If you plan to work in SG, you must be mentally prepared on how Business behave in SG, and the working hours. If you are working in MAS, the hours are worse.

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Postby carteki » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 12:23 pm

seriously if the op cannot find compliance related jobs in sg he hasn't tried. There are plenty about. Whether you want them or not is another question...

User avatar
BillyB
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri, 23 Jul 2010
Location: My laptop

Postby BillyB » Wed, 25 Jan 2012 1:35 pm

Use the main jobsites; efinaicialcareers.sg, jobsdb.com, monster etc, and also connect to some headhunters (The usual suspects) who'll give you a view of the market and will have contacts at organisations currently hiring.

BTW, Efinancialcareers is the better site to use in the first instance.

dax123
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue, 24 Jan 2012

Postby dax123 » Fri, 27 Jan 2012 1:02 pm

Thanks everyone for replying. Your responses are very helpful.

@Carteki: As a matter of fact, I haven't actively applied for any positions in Singapore yet. I have done my research online and have seen that many roles are being advertied. However, It's difficult for me to ascertain whether not having local Singaporean work experience will be a barrier for me to be employed in these roles. That's mainly why I posted here - to get a better understanding of what my chances are to find employment in Singapore.

As for remuneration, is it common to receive a substantial bonus working in financial compliance in Singapore? If so, what would the size of the bonus roughly be?

Is SGD $100,000 a realistic expecation as a base salary for someone with 4 years experience in financial services of which 2 years in compliance?

Girl_Next_Door
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 616
Joined: Thu, 28 Aug 2008

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 31 Jan 2012 7:46 am

The question is, are you an AM (Assistant Manager) with 2 years of compliance experience in an unknown company or are you a VP with 2 years in a highly reputable company?

In terms of bonus, it ranges from 0 (if the FI is doing terribly) to 6 months (if the FI, usually PB/AM/Securities, if they had an exceptional year). With the current economy, I doubt many FI is paying out 6 months bonus.

User avatar
BillyB
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1807
Joined: Fri, 23 Jul 2010
Location: My laptop

Postby BillyB » Tue, 31 Jan 2012 9:41 am

dax123 wrote:Thanks everyone for replying. Your responses are very helpful.

@Carteki: As a matter of fact, I haven't actively applied for any positions in Singapore yet. I have done my research online and have seen that many roles are being advertied. However, It's difficult for me to ascertain whether not having local Singaporean work experience will be a barrier for me to be employed in these roles. That's mainly why I posted here - to get a better understanding of what my chances are to find employment in Singapore.

As for remuneration, is it common to receive a substantial bonus working in financial compliance in Singapore? If so, what would the size of the bonus roughly be?

Is SGD $100,000 a realistic expecation as a base salary for someone with 4 years experience in financial services of which 2 years in compliance?


That question is completely dependent on your experience and firm. Globals will pay higher, but compliance has never been top of the salary scale. In a global bank it's realistic and probably even a little on the low side.

For a local bank - it's far too high - I hear VP's in the front office at some of the locals pull in 5k a month base.

MeerCatMoose
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat, 26 Nov 2011
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Postby MeerCatMoose » Sat, 04 Feb 2012 12:01 pm

Speaking from experience... you will need to aim for VP level.

At lot of firms will not recruit foreigners (ie non citizens and non pr holders) unless it is highly specialised.

Salary wise, you would be looking at S120k plus... however I think you would need to get 5 years experience at least... it makes a difference.


Also get a professional qualification/certification that supplements your area of knowledge.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Careers & Jobs in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests