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Asset Management: 2020 hiring trends and salaries

An Ethos BeathChapman Banking and Financial Services perspective on what hiring managers should know in today's market.

By: Martina Potocar and Chris Poh, Banking & Financial Services



There will always be light at the end of every tunnel. Assets under management in Singapore has seen further growth in 2019, albeit at a slower rate, given today’s constant political-economic shifts. 

A few key factors come into mind as we trace the continued upward trend in the asset management space, including the increased penetration of alternative investments, the continued focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG), as well as a stronger demand amongst the accredited high net worth (HNW) investors and retail clients. 

Global influencers pushing ESG to the mainstream
2019 has seen global climate issues take centre stage, led by environmental influencers such as Greta Thurnberg.  The continued pressure by activists and global influencers has seen investors take more notice of the types of investments they make, with an increasing number of high-profile firms turning their focus to pursuing ‘green only’ investments. What used to be an ethical and secondary investment need has quickly become essential for the entirety of the asset management world.

The increased savviness of investors, along with the continued exposure and access to a variety of alternative investment products and platforms, has immensely contributed to the alternative sector’s 15% expansion in assets here in Singapore. As our society continues to adapt and evolve in our given political, economic and social environment, so will our need to find innovative ways to invest capital.



The ever-increasing market differentiator 
The intention as we move into 2020 is to hire more ESG specialists over the next three to five years. The top industry leaders will deep dive into unique ways of tackling sustainability while others will merely ask their business leaders to “take note” of ESG. The focus continues to be on designing unique and innovative products and funds, along with adopting new fintech solutions whilst continuing expansion regionally to gain further market share. 

Centre stage 
With the world’s aging population needing healthcare and retirement solutions, investment growth in third world country developments, increased regulatory pressure on banks and the spike of HNW investments across APAC, regional and global asset managers are brought to the forefront for their ability to provide solutions and tackle these new opportunities better than their banking counterparts.

Risk: Nowhere to go and nowhere to hide 
Full transparency. At all levels. On all investment activity. On all products. Regulations have crossed the globe and by 2020, all regulatory reporting will be standard, and real-time access to portfolios and market data will be completely available. 

Technology takes the driver’s seat 
Tech solutions will become even more crucial for operational efficiency. Whether mining of customer data for driving customer engagement across existing and potential clients, or streamlining of regulatory reporting, technology will be at the forefront of the asset management industry. The trend is to have senior digital officers such as chief digital officers (CDOs) seated in every global asset manager by the end of the year. 

But at what cost? 
With the increase of assets and movement into alternatives, there will also be rising costs. Asset managers are contending with ongoing fee pressures on all fronts – from the global economic slowdown and de-risking of portfolios, to investments in technology and the expansion of their distribution networks.

It's now or never
As the pressure mounts and with the volume of investable assets set to increase globally by 6%, top institutions are seeing the need to leverage their competitive edge more than ever before. 

In this Asset Management recruitment trends and salary report, we offer advice to hiring managers about:

  • Getting your top-notch team

  • New talent pools to drive your ESG agenda, and 

  • The most sought after candidates in today's asset management world


If you are hiring across Asia Pacific, an interested senior professional or someone keen to discuss the asset management recruitment landscape, feel free to get in touch: and 

For APAC banking and financial services career opportunities, search here.


Related content:

2020 Banking & Financial Services hiring trends and salaries
This complete 2020 Banking and Financial Services report encompasses hiring trends and salaries for front, middle and back office functions.



About Ethos BeathChapman, EBC:
We are a global group of executive recruitment experts in Australia, Asia and EMEA, with a network beyond. We connect exceptional people to exceptional companies. Established 2005 in Sydney, our multidisciplinary expertise covers corporate and specialised functions across Banking and Financial Services, Fintech, Technology, Legal, Risk, Compliance, Healthcare, and Consumer recruitment markets, among others. For more information:  

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