Returning from the Circuit Breaker | Financial Services Market Update

On the 3 April, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a nationwide partial lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Singapore. This lockdown is known as a circuit breaker. After two months, the Singapore government announced it will embark on a three-phrased approach to resume activities safely - post-circuit breaker. What is the hiring strategy and what position the business is looking for in the post-circuit breaker stage?

Post-circuit breaker: Singapore

Post-Circuit Breaker: Overview of Singapore Financial Services Market

To date, we have seen three themes emerge that will guide our actions in 2020:

  • A global hiring freeze that will begin to thaw in the second half of the year

  • Numerous quality talents enter the market

  • Accelerated expansion of transformation roles

Above all, companies that went through redundancies during Covid-19 will need to backfill business-critical positions. In addition, the "Pandemic Shock" has also created a market with numerous rare quality talents. We, therefore, foresee a talent squeeze as the global recovery takes shape, aided by unprecedented global quantitative easing.

​Private Banking & Wealth Management

While most private banks look to manage costs, however, we found that businesses were prioritizing headcount for senior client advisors/relationship managers with a focus on Singapore-domiciled clients. As a result, market including Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines continue to be core regions for hiring in the post-circuit breaker.

On the investments and products side, there has been a larger demand for the alternatives space as these teams are largely affected by AUM and revenue generation. In short, in this volatile environment, AUM in the alternatives space seems to be more resilient to outflows/margin calls, as a result, have the potential for more robust returns.

Financial Technology

Meanwhile, financial technology has not seen a slowdown in hiring despite current market conditions. It is a sector still growing in a strong trajectory in the post-circuit breaker.

Most clients are looking to get ahead of the curve to bring in top talents with the most forward skillsets and technology such as C++PythonCloudNLP and machine learning.

In addition, an interesting trend about the technology market is the fact that technology professionals are sector agnostic. This means that relevant industry knowledge is not as crucial as the candidates' skillsets in most cases.


Discover more

We have dived into each financial services vertical to understand the market under the post-circuit breaker. Download this 18-page report to get an update from our market specialists.

You can also download the latest Hong Kong financial services market update here.

Further readings:

Global Job Confidence Index 2020

Post-circuit breaker: Job Confidence Index 2020

How do Covid-19 impact professionals' job confidence and perceived job security? Do they foresee a better or a worse economy in the upcoming months? Have they received a bonus this year? We have interviewed over 900 financial services professionals across the globe and it is free to download now.

Global Job Confidence Index