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New tricks to get a Singapore wealth management job

Want to work in a part of the Singapore finance sector where banks are really struggling to fill roles, with the added bonus that they’ll hire people with little or no direct experience? Wealth management is your best bet.

Wealth management – including both mass-affluent and private banking – is the toughest sector for banks to hire in, especially for relationship managers (RMs), according to senior Singapore-based recruiters from financial institutions who attended a recent eFinancialCareers round table.

“It’s very competitive; everyone is looking for top-tier candidates. We’re doubling down on our wealth business, but we pay average at best, which limits our ability to hire RMs,” said a recruiter, who like his counterparts asked not to be named in this article.

A representative from another bank in Singapore said graduates now have less interest in wealth management sales jobs, which has stifled the supply of young candidates. “Perhaps a wealth management career isn't so attractive, because in some banks you have targets to win new business; you don’t just manage relationships,” added a third round table delegate.

How are tier-one banks trying to overcome talent shortages? For starters they aren’t just poaching RMs from each other. “While we want people from direct competitors, we also now look at people from other levels of banks. We train them up, and the data shows they perform just as well as other RMs,” said a round table panelist.

Moreover, in mass-affluent banking, which typically serves clients with less than $1m in assets, many banks will now consider candidates who have a sales or customer services background in other sectors, including aviation and hospitality. “We've looked at hiring people who have strong communication skills from outside of finance and can be trained about our products. This has been quite successful,” an attendee told the round table.

One delegate said his firm is increasingly promoting mass-affluent RMs into roles serving richer clients in its private bank. “They may not have a private banking background, but the talent shortages keep on growing, so it’s something we have to do,” he added.

Photo by jose aljovin on Unsplash

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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