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Hong Kong Finance & Accounting Salary Survey 2017

Hong Kong Finance & Accounting Salary Survey 2017

over 1 year ago by Gareth Rees

Introduction

The Aquis Search Hong Kong Finance & Accounting Salary Survey 2017 details salary information and recruiting trends in the regions and business sectors we cover. Our information has been researched and collated with the help of our clients and candidates and from our working knowledge of the marketplace. Aquis Search consultants have extensive expertise in their practice area and the information reported is based on telephone interviews with hiring managers, HR professionals and in-house recruiters as well as data extracted from our own extensive database and internal research resources.
 
As with all reports that detail salary information and trends, we represent the mainstream view and we recognise there will be individual situations that fall outside the data published. This survey is therefore a guide to general movement in the sector. Please contact us for further information or for clarification on any of the compensation trends detailed in this report.

 

Market Overview

The majority of recruitment activity in 2016 was replacement hiring, as financial institutions and multinationals cautiously navigated through challenging economic conditions and political changes in some of the world’s most influential countries. Hong Kong remains an important hub for international organisations, and although there was some evidence of headcount moving to Singapore and Shanghai, any negative effect has been counteracted by the increase in demand from Chinese headquartered firms. 
 
Our clients have reported that they have found it most challenging to hire for operations, audit and risk professionals. Increased pressure from regulators has forced institutions to better understand and monitor capital requirements, so we have seen a subsequent demand for HKMA reporting and regulatory reporting professionals. We saw some senior moves in the audit sector towards the end of the year that created a ripple effect, creating openings in a number of organisations. We also saw a particular spike in demand in product control, with a focus on equity derivatives, whereas demand in other asset classes was more stable.
 
In addition to continuing regulation, the digitalisation of the industry has really started to take root. Increased functionality and streamlining has resulted in a surge in demand for candidates to fill change management roles, running projects to implement these changes and to better structure departments to complement existing operations.

 

Outlook

The key areas for growth in 2017, and into the first quarter of 2018 will be related to digitalisation of operations and processes especially within insurance companies, banks and investment houses. As we saw in 2016, demand for change management teams to lead these projects will also continue through this year. We anticipate that the restructuring will see some more traditional accounting roles and some client facing operations role disappear, either wiped out by robotics, streamlined processes or offshored. In the longer term, external factors notwithstanding, new roles will be created as companies fully embrace the changes in the market.
 
There will also be growth in the IT risk and cybersecurity sector.  Banks and other financial institutions are already grappling with bitcoin and crypto currencies, with many not fully understanding the impact they will have. We anticipate demand for IT Audit professionals, in both technology infrastructure and applications roles. Salary levels will gradually creep up as a result and spike towards the end of the year.   
 
Already this year we have seen persistent hiring amongst banks in the KYC space, as many find they still have a long way to go to support remediation. We have also seen banks needing to further conduct due diligence and enhanced KYC when they acquire other organisations, so they end up remediating all of the business and clients of the bank which typically require high human input. Large banks will be looking to increase their headcount in this area this year, and other organisations not currently on the radar of the regulators will be taking note, and will eventually follow suit to ensure they are compliant. Candidates are already in demand, and we expect more movement and salary rises to come as lateral moves are made to secure higher compensation levels. Clients will relax their requirements and be more flexible, taking on contractors in many cases to fill their immediate and time sensitive needs.
 
As a general rule, all other fixed components of salaries will remain at the same level as the end of 2016. However, a small group of key personnel that are highly prized within leading financial institutions may benefit from rises as aggressive retention programs are implemented to stop moves. Candidates will need to focus on becoming part of this narrowing band of elite and high performing players to make compensation gains.

 

Salary Scale 2017/18


Internal Audit

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 360,000
5 - 8 Associate 360,000 - 600,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 600,000 - 840,000
10 - 13 Vice President 840,000 - 1,300,000
13+ Director or above 1,500,000+

 

Fund Accounting

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 360,000
5 - 8 Associate 360,000 - 540,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 540,000 - 780,000
10 - 13 Vice President 780,000 - 1,000,000
13+ Director or above 1,300,000+

 

Financial & Regulatory Reporting

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 360,000
5 - 8 Associate 360,000 - 600,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 600,000 - 840,000
10 - 13 Vice President 840,000 - 1,300,000
13+ Director or above 1,300,000+

 

Management Reporting

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 480,000
5 - 8 Associate 480,000 - 660,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 660,000 - 900,000
10 - 13 Vice President 900,000 - 1,300,000
13+ Director or above 1,300,000+

 

Tax

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 360,000
5 - 8 Associate 360,000 - 600,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 600,000 - 900,000
10 - 13 Vice President 900,000 - 1,200,000
13+ Director or above 1,500,000+

 

Product Control

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
3 - 5 Analyst Up to 540,000
5 - 8 Associate 540,000 - 840,000
8 - 10 Assistant Vice President 840,000 - 1,000,000
10 - 13 Vice President 1,000,000 - 1,320,000
13+ Director or above 1,500,000+

 

Finance Change Management

Years of Experience Title Annual Salary in HKD
4 - 6 Associate 600,000 - 900,000
6 - 10 Assistant Vice President 900,000 - 1,000,000
10 - 15 Vice President 1,000,000 - 1,440,000
15+ Director or above 1,440,000+

 

To know more details, please contact -
 
Gareth Rees
Executive Director
Finance - Financial Services
Hong Kong, Asia Pacific
garethrees@aquissearch.com
+852 2537 0333
 
Please click here to download a PDF version of this document.