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HK credit pros poorer than average

Another salary survey underscores the fact that Hong Kong markets professionals are paid less than those elsewhere in the world. This time it's credit pros that have reason to grumble.

The survey, by London-based search firm Credent Partners, found junior structured credit staff in Asia earned an average of 12% less than their colleagues in the City of London. Asian credit staff with over nine years' experience earned 20% less.

Michael Stubbs-Egginton, Credent chief executive, told us the discrepancy is all down to the 'mechanics of the market.'

"London is a bigger market," he explained. "The types of product that people are able to structure are more complex and the level of profits they can make is higher. It all comes down to the size and complexity of deals."

The continent's relatively impoverished credit specialists may live to see the gap closed, however. "Asia is catching London up," opined Stubbs-Egginton. "And there is no reason why pay should not catch up too."

A manifestation of this catching-up is the increased specialisation of Asian credit structuring expertise - people who formerly worked across product areas are now focusing on individual product types, said Stubbs-E.

Until discrepancy is closed, some London credit professionals will continue earning several million dollars more a year than their counterparts in Asia.

But Stubbs Egginton says low taxes and cheaper rents (in Singapore at least), will help soften the blow. "Asian employees can look like the poor cousins, but when factors like tax and lifestyle are taken into consideration they don't look so badly off after all."

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