Southeast Asia – A surge in Mergers & Acquisitions
Data shows that Southeast Asian mergers and acquisitions have increased by 114% YOY within the first half of 2021. With deal-making in the tech sector hitting $19bn, a near record has been set for the start of the year.
Naturally as deal flows increase, so does the oncoming workload. Financial institutions in Singapore are now on an aggressive lookout for more bankers with an M&A expertise - particularly ones with experience in the tech sector.
Hiring to follow M&A demand
M&A hiring has increased across all investment banks in Singapore because there are “more deals to go around in the market”, says Bryan Law, principal consultant for investment and fund management at Selby Jennings.
He adds “In addition to the yearly attrition of investment bankers moving to buy-side firms, start-ups etc, the backlogged deals on top of the new deals originated have meant that simply replacing existing headcounts has not been sufficient.”
Headline deals this year include Grab’s SPAC $40bn merger, Tokopedia’s $18bn merger with fellow Indonesian tech unicorn Gojek, Sea’s acquisition of Indonesia’s Bank Kesejahteraan Ekonomi, and the merger of Malaysia’s Celcom Axiata and Digi.com.
While global banks like Citi, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs dominate hiring, local firms are also looking to add headcount to tap the surge in regional M&A revenues. UOB generated “record investment banking revenue” in the first half, according to its earnings report.
Resignations further fuelling the talent search
Resignations following bonus pay-outs mean the workload of existing staff has “naturally” increased, spurring banks in Singapore to expedite hiring. As they have done globally, banks in Singapore are revising the salaries of more junior bankers in an attempt to attract more candidates and retain existing talent, says Law.
Reportedly, employees within Singaporean M&A consultancy firms have recently resigned after being disappointed by promotion and bonus outcomes. Selby Jennings’ Global Job Confidence Index 2021 finds that the majority of financial services professionals were optimistic about their compensation increase and bonuses in early 2021 despite receiving less in the previous period. This misalignment of expectations and outcome could be a contributing factor to Singapore’s talent exodus.
Do you have M&A hiring needs?
Reach out to the Selby Jennings’ investment management recruitment team today.
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