Explosive demand for risk experts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 March, 2013, 5:37am

Salaries for compliance and risk experts are expected to jump 30 per cent this year, recruitment firm Robert Half says in its 2013 salary guide released yesterday.

"An absolute explosion in new regulations across all industries is causing great demand for risk and compliance experts," Pallavi Anand, director of Robert Half Hong Kong, said.

According to the guide, in the last 12 months demand for risk and compliance professionals has risen by a quarter at banks and financial services firms and 15 per cent in other industries.

"There is more demand for risk and compliance jobs than there are candidates, as companies are struggling to generate profits while complying with regulations," Anand said.

In a survey conducted by Robert Half, financial institutions said they were finding it hard to cope with new regulations and rules, such as the stringent Basel III global regulatory standard on bank capital adequacy, stress testing and market liquidity risk. Ninety-six per cent of respondents found managing regulatory changes very challenging or somewhat challenging for their businesses.

The hiring outlook for financial services in Hong Kong was expected to remain stable in the first half of the year, with replacement hiring the main focus for many companies, as continued demand for asset management, brokerage and insurance services created more employment opportunities, the report said.

"Large foreign banks, which have felt the brunt of [the global financial crisis that started in] 2008, will continue to be subdued in their hiring activity, having replaced many of the roles that were cut during the crisis. It will be emerging Asian banks that are expected to be the most active in 2013," Anand said.

Top tips for employers in the guide were to provide and ensure competitive remuneration and benefit packages to attract and retain talent, as well as to consider employing contract or interim professionals to supplement permanent staff and to streamline processes and procedures.