It’s not only RMs getting big pay rises in SG private banking

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It’s not only RMs getting big pay rises in SG private banking

Relationship managers aren’t the only group of professionals who can now command eyebrow-raising pay raises in private banking: so too can wealth planners.

“With strong competition from the increasing number of family offices and high-net-worth insurance firms, more banks are expanding the capabilities of their wealth services to offer estate planning, taxation and succession planning,” says Lim Chai Leng, senior director of banking and financial services at Randstad Singapore.

Case in point is Bank of Singapore, which onboarded Christine Wong of HSBC and Guo Jiawen of UBS in May to power its wealth planning expansion in Hong Kong and Singapore.

The work of wealth planners at private banks is more extensive than that of investment advisors, who focus purely on investment products and returns. Both roles support private banking relationship managers to offer high-net-worth clients bespoke advice.

Selby Jennings has observed a buzzier market for wealth planners who prospect new business, compared to those who work with existing clients, says its principal consultant for private banking and wealth management in Singapore, Simran Karamchandani. Other attractive candidate qualities include a steady network and strong regulatory and compliance knowledge, she adds.

Both recruiters cited North Asia as a key source of opportunity, as banks move to provide structured products and alternatives to attract high-net-worth clients and family offices in the region. Ideal candidates either have experience dealing with clients from these markets, or are expected to educate themselves on how to cater to this clientele amid the private banking shift to digital.

Karamchandani identifies wealth planning candidates who cover multi-asset advisory – particularly investment counsellors with a track record in private banking – as particularly sought after by global and local private banks. Meanwhile, universal banks are seeking talent with the technical knowledge to handle global markets or trading, who are fluent in multiple languages, and have experience covering multi-asset classes and cross-asset solutions.

New senior-level appointments at multinational western and regional players are one source of heightened demand for wealth planners, as executives expand their teams to grow market share, says Lim. These hires won’t come cheap, with salary jumps currently peaking at around 30%, say Lim and Karamchandani, who cited 20% and 15% as the lower end of the scale, respectively. 

Lim says these figures are on average 5% higher than during the start of the pandemic, when hiring budgets were tighter. “Hiring managers and internal stakeholders are increasingly aware that 5-10% increments on basic salaries aren’t as competitive as they previously were, especially for mid-level hires,” adds Karamchandani. “Compared to previous years, we observe candidates exploring multiple opportunities at once or even securing a few offers. Total compensation is one of the most common deciding factors.”

Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

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