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South East Asia Financial Services Market Update

Posted on December 2020 By Natasha Madhavan

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2020 proved itself to be a very interesting year, one that turned our early 2020 predictions upside down. If COVID-19 brought anything positive, it was helping our clients realise the importance of their technology talent and how vital the cloud proved to be in creating a fluid working environment. Some firms were well-positioned and their staffs benefited from a seamless transition to the work-from-home business model.

Asset Management

As more Hong Kong, London, and U.S. hedge funds plan to establish firms and hire staff in Singapore, the opportunities for top fund managers, quant researchers and developers to live and work in Singapore have risen tremendously as we approach 2021.

Prominent funds have already made flashy, headline generating hires, and are set to continue building their teams as they move into 2021, anticipating approximately 5-10 headcounts in the upcoming year in front office hires. We are not looking at massive, rapid hiring, or the transfer of talent from overseas just yet, but MAS licenses are being put in place in case relocation is needed. This opens the door for the best talent across Asia to be based here, in Singapore. Funds have also become increasingly uncertain about having top employees based in Hong Kong and Singapore.


The biggest reservation for 2020 was in Oil & Gas (especially fuel oil related roles) as we anticipated the strict regulations that were to be implemented in 2020. The IMO 2020 regulations mandate a maximum Sulphur content of 0.5% in marine fuels globally. Driving this change was the need to reduce our global air pollution and many majors and trading houses had to adapt. Many houses began combining their trading teams, while others closed down their desks in late 2019.

About this report

In the report, our thought leaders provide insights into their particular area of expertise. This report will cover market trends and hiring insights from below niche sectors:

  • Private Banking & Wealth Management

  • Corporate & Investment Banking

  • Asset Management

  • Global Market Sales & Trading

  • Middle Office

  • Commodities

  • FinTech

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