The Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide 2019 : Buy-Side, Finance & Accounting

11 Jul 2019


2019 seems set to be another growth year for buy-side hiring in the accounting and finance space, A number of new fund managers have already launched new entities and/or re-domicile their funds in anticipation for the Variable Capital Company (VCC) framework set to go live later this year.

Chinese fund managers have continued to grow in AUM despite the ongoing trade war between the US and China, and the fx restrictions. Real Estate (RE) and Private Equity (PE) funds saw highest number of hiring followed by smaller hedge funds and long-only asset managers. While Hong Kong has been thriving as a haven for Chinese domicile funds, we expect the newly introduced VCC framework to cause a shift in from Hong Kong based hiring to Singapore hiring with the improved operational and tax efficiency.

The information from this guide is based on 156 candidates across Asia.


We have covered the following topics in this article:

  • Fund Sizes & Approximate Bonus Payouts

  • Hiring Intentions

  • 2018 Significant Events

  • 2019 Anticipated Trends

  • Small-sized Funds (Hong Kong)

  • Small-sized Funds (Singapore)

  • Medium-sized Funds (Hong Kong)

  • Medium-sized Funds (Singapore)

  • Large-sized Funds (Hong Kong)

  • Large-sized Funds (Singapore)

Fund Sizes & Approximate Bonus Payouts

In 2018, candidates who were in are in growth-capital PE funds had drawn the highest compensation in comparison to their peers in RE funds, followed by Hedge funds. However in 2019, the trend seems to skew towards new Private Equity investment management firms (majority are spin-offs) setting up a presence here in Singapore. Hong Kong is still in the lead for numerous alternative fund houses regardless of the asset class.


Typical fund size & its approximate bonus:

Hiring Intentions

We have conducted a survey with 49 CFOs in Q4 of 2018 and 17% of the CFOs plan to increase headcounts, 8% forecast a cutting in their staffs, while the remaining 75% anticipate no change in hiring plans. 

Hiring demand by sector: 

  1. General PE funds, (33%)
  2. RE funds, (23%)
  3. Infrastructure, (24%) 
  4. Hedge funds, (13%)
  5. Mutual funds, (7%)

2018 Significant Events

  1. We observed a couple of fund managers beginning to outsource their entire back office to fund administrators. This could potentially mean that a team downsize could happen and only a single person is now needed to coordinate with the various stakeholders
  2. Mergers and acquisitions were very prominent in 2018. A notable trend we observed was the increase in demand for finance and accounting professionals to cater to many PE firms’ portfolio companies. This market movement predominantly occurs from mid to senior level mandates (e.g Finance Managers, Finance Directors and Chief Financial Officers).

2019 Anticipated Trends

  • With change in business structures and support by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong, we expect to see more fund management companies outsource their entire middle and back office (including control functions that is usually preferred to kept in-house) to fund administrators. However, only larger AUM size funds see the benefits of this as smaller funds move towards a cost-cutting culture.
  • Employers are likely to favour candidates with experience in areas such as full set of accounts experience, compliance, shared services, hybrid finance operations, analysis and tax.
  • On the contracting front, employers will favour candidates with formal qualifications, who have experience in commercial accounting in different industries.


Salary Guide

Read the pdf version of the Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide for Buy-side, Finance & Accounting here: Funds Partnership Asia Salary Guide 2019_Buy-Side, Finance & Accounting