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Selby Jennings’ Cheryl Koh discusses Where to snag a 40% salary rise in Asian banking, even as hirin

Date: 18 February 2015

Relationship managers (RMs) in Singapore’s corporate banking sector reached new heights of desirability in 2014. But although the job market is looking more muted for them this year, big pay rises are still on the cards for those with the right skills and industry expertise.

Hiring of corporate-banking RMs is already “less aggressive” than in 2014 as most banks focus on replacing those who leave rather than adding additional headcount, says Cheryl Koh, principal consultant at recruiters Selby Jennings in Singapore. The recruitment downturn comes as total Singapore bank lending fell in December from the previous month and economic growth in the country cools off.

Not all relationship managers are finding themselves less sought after than last year. A continued skills shortage means trade-finance RMs remain in high demand, says Koh from Selby Jennings.

“There is likely to be job movement across the market after the forthcoming bonus period for RMs who are heavily specialised within trade finance,” adds Koh. “RMs covering commodities companies are also expected to have strong trade-finance product knowledge and be proficient in structuring trade solutions for their clients.”

If you’re a trade-finance or commodities specialist, a pay rise of between 30% and 40% is possible Share on twitterwhen changing banks in Singapore, says Koh. Other RMs should expect about 20%.

Despite these pay temptations, the most viable option for most RMs in Singapore this year is to stay put at their current firms. The high number of job moves made in 2014 means corporate banking is full of professionals with short current tenures – so building up a track record at one bank will ultimately help you stand out in the labour market. “Candidates who move every year or two are generally less preferred during the selection process – it’s recommended that RMs remain in their organisation for at least two years,” says Koh.

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