• XiaoLi

Singapore VS Hong Kong: Whose Salary is higher in Investment Banking Industry?

Updated: Apr 5

If "Hong Kong" was a company, and you held the stock of it, what would be your investment decision on it in the next 24 months? Buy, sell or hold? The question above is said to be one of the questions asked in the Singapore investment banking position interview this year.

Twenty years ago, Hong Kong was a more popular expatriate location than Singapore. However, things may have changed over the years, especially after the most recent protest activities and the outbreak of the pandemic may have taken a toll on Hong Kong's economy.

In this article, we will dive right into the salary insight into the investment banking industry in Singapore and Hong Kong. The data in this article is extracted from the 2020 Hays Asia Salary Guide. This document covers more than 6,000 employees in more than 300 financial institutions and clearly reveals the salary situation of related industries in important regions of the Asia-Pacific region. The original report uses the local currency as the unit. For the convenience of comparison, this article unifies the currency unit as SGD (exchange rate: SGD/HKD=5.8). It should be noted that the salary in this article is an annual salary and does not include commissions or bonuses. Quick check out the data below! Front Office Let's see the Front Office first. On the whole, Hong Kong leads the majority in the salary of the front office of investment banks. For example, in positions such as Corporate Finance, M&A, ECM/DCM, Private Equity, Hedge Fund Investment, Global Markets (Trader), Hong Kong bankers can earn more than Singapore bankers. But for Asset Management, Global Markets-Quantitive research, Research, Corporate Banking, Commercial Banking, Singapore's salary is slightly better.

Middle Office

Compared with the front office, the work in the middle office is mainly to support instead of directly facing clients and brings cash flow. The annual salary of Middle Office bankers starts at a relatively low number. Besides, except for the position of Investment Consultant, Middle Office bankers in Hong Kong seem to earn more than bankers in Singapore.

Back Office Back office jobs in investment banks referred to all the functions behind the scene, making sure the financial machine keeps running. Human resources, information technology, administration, you name it. So back-office jobs are usually considered undesirable, which also reflects on the salary situation. Employees in Banking Operations and Corporation Action in Singapore are paid more salary than those in Hong Kong. Whereas the Documentation and Fund Operation position can be more attractive in Hong Kong.

If you are comparing the investment banking positions in Singapore and Hong Kong, the salary won't be the only metric. Backed by mainland China and facing the world, Hong Kong seldom lack behind in salary, and its talent competitiveness is still very strong. Singapore's salary also leads the way in many positions. At the same time, within the investment bank, the salary gap of positions at different levels and departments is worth noting. Some department's salary ceiling can be quite visible.

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