Gripes in Hong Kong Finance Sector Despite Heftier Bonuses

Hong Kong-based finance professionals received an average bonus increase of 25% for 2010 compared with the previous year, which is well above Singapore’s and Australia’s 13%, reveals the latest eFinancialCareers Global Bonus Survey. In spite of the increase in bonus payouts, one in three (33%) finance professionals in this market are dissatisfied with their 2010 bonuses.

 

According to the eFinancialCareers Global Bonus Survey, 56% of Hong Kong-based finance professionals who received bonuses in both years took home more in 2010 than 2009, while only 16% saw their bonuses reduced in 2010 compared to the previous year.

 

Over half (58%) of Hong Kong professionals surveyed expect to change positions in 2011 including 45% of them looking to change firms and another 13% looking for new positions within their existing firms. Respondents who do not plan to change jobs earned higher bonuses on average than those who plan to change positions.

 

“Widespread bonus dissatisfaction amongst Hong Kong professionals will likely fuel post-bonus turnover across the city’s finance industry, a sector that is already experiencing significant talent shortage as companies look to expand,” comments George McFerran, Head of Asia Pacific, eFinancialCareers. “According to the eFinancialCareers’ Global Bonus Survey, finance professionals are expecting expansion across all business sectors including wealth management and investment banking, equities, fund management, and risk management just to name a few.”

 

“Employee retention is key in the current climate as people who were reluctant to move during the financial crisis look for new career opportunities. Companies need to gear up their retention efforts and invest in their employees’ career development in order to prevent star performers from jumping ship,” adds McFerran.

 

Looking more closely at the 2010 bonus payouts, nearly two-thirds (62%) of finance professionals that received a bonus increase were satisfied, while 16% were dissatisfied.  Not surprisingly, of those respondents who received a decrease, a strong majority (74%) were dissatisfied. Regardless of satisfaction with bonus, more than one third (36%) of respondents felt their bonus was beneath their expectations.

 

On average, sell side professionals in Hong Kong received a bonus that is 48% larger than the average bonus of those on the buy side. For Hong Kong front office professionals, the average size of the bonus was approximately five times larger that the average bonus for those working in a middle office or back office function.

 

Overall, three in four (74%) Hong Kong professionals in the finance sector reported increased earnings (salary and bonus) in 2010. These professionals experienced a growth in earnings on average of 31%. Not only did front office professionals earn the most in 2010, they also received the largest annual increase in earnings (25%).

 

 

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