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.