Hiring trends in Asia for Treasury

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For those of you with subsidiaries and Regional Treasury Centres in the Asia Pacific region or those evaluating treasury in the region its always helpful to get a sense for the trends within the employment markets. In this protectionist period led by the Trump government and Brexit it is not surprising that the Asian countries are also seeing governments issuing similar protectionist jobs for our citizens policy. Combined with this, many companies have had a push on cost reduction which has resulted in many ex pat roles becoming localised. Demand for local talent with fluent Mandarin and English skills has always been high and whilst the employment markets generally would be in the buyers favour currently, within the Asian markets the smaller talent pools on the supply side mean this is not the case. Hence strong treasury talent in the Singapore and particularly within the Hong Kong market is hard to find.

The question I get asked regularly is what is the cost/benefit of hiring local versus seconding a US citizen to Asia Pacific or hiring as expat into the team. The first point I would make is salary levels within the Asian treasury market are fairly consistent across the main treasury markets of Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand (China is a little below these levels). The smaller countries outside these main hubs are significantly cheaper however the treasury talent pools are far smaller within the likes of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok etc so the cost savings may be outweighed by the lack of quality talent. Within the main markets the significant costs to consider remain rent and schooling. Assuming an expat is provided with fully paid housing the budget will likely be around US$3k/month for a single to US5k/month for a family so circa US$60k a year. For schooling its US$22.5k per child for schooling makes this a significant cost. Hence taking an average 2 child family for a middle management treasury role and its US$100k a year of cost for these major expenses that you need to factor in for an ex-pat..

One thing that has been a trend over the last couple of years has been for companies to hire ex pats already in Singapore on a local equivalent package, hence no schooling or rental. For those expats already settled in Asia and wanting to stay this has been something they are keen to accept in order to stay in the country of their choice. The upside for US companies is getting the English speaking culturally similar treasury talent but at non expat cost.

So in summary, the wage expectations of ex pats and locals in Asia in the major cities are fairly similar so the cost/benefit analysis is really just based on the benefits provided to an ex pat versus the savings that can be achieved by hiring someone on a localised contract basis.

Demand within the markets is strongest for mid level talent where there is constant churn particularly at the Treasury Manager, and Treasury Analyst levels, whereas the senior market has been relatively stable over the last 12 months. Hiring intensions for 2018 seem to be similar, with most clients indicating they will be replacing existing headcount rather than adding headcount to their teams.

Davey Lynch – Treasury Talent are the only dedicated treasury specialists in the Singapore, Australian, Asian Pacific and Californian markets, we have over 3550 treasury professionals on our Asia Pacific database and another 3500 in our US database so we are well equipped to find the best talent within the treasury market. Add to this 36 years experience of our partners in financial recruitment across Asia, Europe and Australia and our network and talent pool is perfectly positioned to find the passive talent not applying to adverts.

If you would like further information on the treasury market or regarding specific needs please feel free to make contact as below.

Simon Lynch

Singapore: +65 3158 5886
California: +1 415 373 6045
Australia: +61 481 136 433
Email: simon@daveylynch.com
Website: www.daveylynch.com

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