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Happy days for junior product controllers in Singapore

Singapore's nascent product controllers have seen the country's biggest pay rises over the past year.

A survey, by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, says junior product controllers in the country have seen salaries rise 10-15% in the past year.

They're reportedly benefitting from rapid growth in Asian trading activity, as well as the migration of global players' product control functions away from high-cost centres into Singapore. Local and regional banks are also hiring.

The city state is a good place to base control functions for several reasons, not least its supply of well-educated, English-speaking graduates.

Demand is so strong banks are even casting the net overseas. "Offshore candidates are attracted by the Singapore story and the opportunity to work abroad without any opportunity cost of stepping off the career ladder," says Morgan McKinley consultant Jeremy Canning.

Ideal candidates have broad skills, including strong academic backgrounds and experience with exotic products. "Communication skills are important as often they have to deal with internationally-based colleagues, while strong numeracy and IT skills are also valuable," adds Canning.

While basic salaries ranging between US$26.3k and US$39.5k aren't exactly high, low taxes and cheap living costs mean young bankers are often financially better off in Singapore. This is enhanced by bonuses of about 25% to 30% of annual salary.

However, with banks implementing training programmes to meet the supply shortfall, pay for junior product controllers is unlikely to rise so rapidly in the medium term. "2008 should see pay increases slow a little, once critical mass has been reached and supply becomes more abundant," concludes Canning.

Singaporean product controllers' pay

Junior: US$26 to US$40

Intermediate: US$40 to US$66

Senior: US$79 to US$115

Manager: US$105 to US$165

· Source: Morgan McKinley

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