Most global banks have wrapped up their big hiring plans for the year, but Chinese banks are still busy trying to bring people on board.
“For western firms, hiring windows are pretty much closed for the year, unless for candidates who are immediately available. But some Chinese banks like CLSA and China Merchant Securities (CMS) and Haitong are still hiring aggressively,” said Jacky Wang, managing director at Unicorn Advisor, a headhunter based in Hong Kong.
CLSA and CMS are both looking to fill slots at all levels in corporate finance and investment banking, with both firms having lost bankers to rivals this year.
CLSA is rebuilding its investment banking division while more CMS has suffered a number of departures since January, as western firms have engaged in a war for talent amid shortages of junior bankers.
One headhunter added: “CLSA is filling gaps while CMS is looking to expand its team, although it also has senior gaps to fill.” CMS is looking for a head of its technology, media and telecoms practice after Kevin Yang quit for Bank of America, as well as a head of healthcare following the departure of Hui Zhang. Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank recruited Joseph Lun, a director in CMS’ ECM team.
Haitong International Securities is focusing its recruitment efforts on building out its private banking and wealth management division. This month the bank hired Wang Shengzu from Goldman Sachs to run its asset management business.
Banks prefer not to hire at this time of year as they will have to buy potential recruits out of their bonuses, but talent shortages could leave banks with no choice.
Overall, employers in Hong Kong’s finance sectors are looking to bolster their ranks, according to ManpowerGroup Employment’s outlook survey.
“Hiring sentiment is strongest in Hong Kong’s Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, where the Outlook of +11% improves by 6 percentage points quarter-over-quarter and by 15 percentage points when compared with the same period last year,” said Lancy Chui, Senior Vice President at ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited
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