Asia hedge funds hiring but recruitment slows
25th September 2020
Hedge funds in Asia are hiring amid Covid-19 pressures. But a typical recruitment process – which previously took three to six months – could well stretch to a year, experts believe.
Close to half, or 45% of hedge funds in Hong Kong hired in the first seven months of 2020, a new report by KPMG and the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) found. The figure for the broader Asia Pacific region was 35%, according to the report quizzing 144 hedge fund managers globally with an estimated $840bn in assets under management. Some 17% of respondents were headquartered in the Asia Pacific region, with 11% being in Hong Kong.
While the report didn’t give a breakdown for Singapore, Principle Partners’ Gabriel Lee spotted a similar trend among managers in the city-state.
Navigating the New Normal – A Recruiter’s Perspective
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What is the New Normal? Working from home (WFH), social distancing and virtual collaborations have become commonplace during this period. As several medical experts have suggested, this New Normal is expected to continue for as long as two years.
We would like to share our perspectives and observations from a recruitment angle and how candidates and hiring managers can better navigate this challenging environment.
What senior execs can learn from young recruits
7th August 2019
Reverse mentoring, whereby senior professionals seek opportunities to learn from their junior colleagues, could be described as the corporate enactment of teaching old dogs new tricks.
Some believe it is an effective way of ensuring that fresh ideas and new technological approaches can flourish in the traditionally conservative asset management industry.
It was in 1999 when Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, first promoted the concept of reverse mentoring, by switching up the usual top-down approach by allowing younger members of the workforce to coach the more senior-level executives about newly introduced technology and manufacturing techniques.
Ultimately, reverse mentoring is a two-way street, according to Will Tan, Singapore-based managing director at recruitment firm Principle Partners.
Each generation may have different priorities growing up, but it is from these differences that people can learn more about how to work together, and this in turn could translate to better teamwork and ultimately form a more cohesive team, says Tan.
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Abundant wealth management roles entice Asia's fund execs
23th September 2020
More investment professionals in Asia are switching to a growing number of opportunities in the region’s rapidly expanding wealth management space, lured by the appeal of longer-term job stability and more time interacting directly with clients.
Will Tan, Managing Director at Principle Partners, says there has been increased hiring in middle and back-office roles for wealth management firms in Singapore too, specifically in risk management compliance and operations functions. The surge of the growth in job opportunities has also come as more individual investors are looking to move funds or open accounts in the city-state, Tan says.
Hong Kong-headquartered Raffles Family Office has in the past couple of years poached two senior portfolio managers from asset managers. The firm usually tries to hire people from the buy-side sector as it needs executives to run its own top-down strategies.
In 2019, it hired Derek Loh as head of equities and senior portfolio manager from ACA Capital Group, his LinkedIn profile says. In 2018, it appointed Lawrence Chan as head of fixed income from Taiping Asset Management, where he was chief investment officer for fixed income, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Founded in 2016 in Hong Kong, the multi-family office offers wealth management, wealth preservation, and legacy planning solutions to UHNWIs and families in Asia
Hedge funds fight for Asia talent by boosting bonuses, training
29th October 2019
Compensation packages in Asia are increasing as hedge funds pay up to attract top candidates, people familiar with the industry said. In-demand managers can now secure more attractive terms for the performance component of their pay, which typically accounts for the bulk of their remuneration and is expressed as a percentage of the profits generated by their investments.
One person who’s worked in the hedge fund industry for more than a decade said he’s aware of recent bonus payouts in Asia of 25% of profits, up from 23% a few years ago, while noting that there can be significant variation across the industry.
Top portfolio managers in Asia can take home $15 million to $20 million a year once performance bonuses are included, while junior portfolio managers can command $2 million to $3 million, people familiar with the matter said.
Compensation in the region is still likely lower than in Europe and the U.S., but that’s because Asia-based portfolio managers typically oversee fewer assets, said Will Tan, a managing director at recruitment firm Principle Partners Pte. In the U.S., star managers at big funds can make north of $50 million in a good year, Tan said.
Political unrest pushing fund execs to seek HK exit
29th July 2019
With the prolonged political unrest in Hong Kong becoming more violent and unpredictable, some concerned fund professionals from the territory are looking for opportunities elsewhere, recruitment experts say.
Following six weeks of widespread demonstrations, pro-democracy protesters and innocent passers-by were attacked by thugs, suspected of being triad gang members in Hong Kong’s northern district Yuen Long on July 21. Confrontations between police and protesters continued in the suburb and other parts of Hong Kong on Sunday.
In response to the violent attacks, Bernard Chan, a top advisor of Hong Kong CEO, Carrie Lam, said the government was unable to offer a “personal assurance” to international companies that their staff were safe as “things are evolving so fast” and polices resources were overstretched.
Even though top executives at fund houses in Hong Kong told Ignites Asia earlier this month that the political turmoil had not shaken their businesses at a boardroom level, it appears some individuals in the industry are starting to act on their worries about their safety and the future prospects of the territory.
Two Hong Kong-based fund professionals took new offers for positions based in Singapore last week, just a couple of days after the attacks in Yuen Long, according to Will Tan, Singapore-based managing partner at executive search firm Principle Partners.
One of the executives, who is from the mainland, accepted the new job because he feels Singapore is probably better for him and his family. The other was convinced to make the move by his Singapore-based family, who were worried about his safety.
For these two candidates, the “last straw” was the indiscriminate attacks at the train station in Yuen Long, Tan says.
Many candidates looking for new positions have cited the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong as “disruptive” to their jobs and say they have concerns about the safety of their families. “You can call it fear, or the constant worry about safety. It’s going to take a toll,” Tan says.
One senior executive who lives in Yuen Long and works in Hong Kong’s central business district at an asset management company tells Ignites Asia that he returned home early from work around 3 p.m. on Monday last week for fear of repeated violence against residents in the area.
The executive also cancelled his trip to Shanghai on Friday as he was afraid of delays caused by protests at Hong Kong’s airport at the end of last week.
While Hong Kong in many respects is still a very safe place to live, the rising political tensions and recent violent skirmishes are “always at the back of your mind”, Tan says. “How do you continue to work if you’re worried about your kid and wife?” he adds.
A Long-Lost Asia Hedge Fund Hub Is Emerging From the Shadows
3rd April 2019
“We’re seeing the re-emergence of Tokyo as a center for Japan-focused funds,” said Dan McNicholas, the global head of capital introductions at Nomura. “The main draw has been the government’s push to encourage boutique asset managers to set up there. Another is funds’ ability to raise money locally to pursue domestic investment opportunities.”
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26th June 2020
The coronavirus pandemic looks set to change the way people work, with an increasing number of roles able to be performed remotely going forward.
Will Tan, managing director of specialist recruitment firm Principle Partners, was already seeing a trend for employees to work from home before the virus struck.
He expects the pandemic to accelerate this shift, as growing numbers of companies see the benefits of remote working.
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Financial services firms in Singapore are recruiting again as they put concerns about the global economic outlook to one side.
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Private banks in Asia see another year of strong growth
22 Feb 2018
Private banks that cater to Asia's wealthy expect another robust year as the region's rapid growth continues to mint new millionaires while appetite for risk remains healthy.