Singapore banks look beyond finance sector for “gold dust” candidates

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Singapore banks look beyond finance sector for “gold dust” candidates

Financial institutions in Singapore have been forced to come up with creative ways of hiring ESG (environmental, social, and governance) professionals. The supply of local candidates with existing experience in the banking sector isn’t enough to meet the growing demand for these roles.

As we’ve already reported, one of the ways they are getting around talent shortages is by relocating overseas-based ESG banking experts.

In March, Eleonore Dachicourt joined BNP Paribas Wealth Management as head of sustainable and responsible investments for Asia, having previously been at Credit Suisse in Zurich as a managing director, sustainable client solutions. In January, Sydney-based Stuart Wilson shifted to Singapore to join Eastspring Investments, as head of sustainability. In September last year, Citi relocated Raphael Erasmus from London to Singapore as head of APAC sustainability and corporate transitions.

We’ve also previously noted another trend: banks transferring existing Singapore-based staff into ESG roles, and then providing them with training. Some of these people come from risk or compliance backgrounds, according to recruiters.

But there’s another way to source ESG experts: recruit them from consultancies in Singapore. Case in point is Priya Bellino, who joined SMBC from EY earlier this month as its Singapore-based head of ESG solutions for Asia Pacific. Bellino was a member of EY’s sustainable finance business consulting practice, advising banks, asset managers and insurers. She was with Goldman Sachs for about 17 years prior to that, but latterly worked in risk management, not ESG.

“Anyone with ESG experience is now like gold dust to banks in Singapore – even if that experience isn’t from an actual bank,” says a headhunter in the Republic. “Big Four candidates are in high demand,” she adds.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash

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