The Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide 2020 : Buy-Side Fund Finance

26 Mar 2020

Director’s Note

So much has changed in 12 months since we last wrote our 2019 salary guide! We are now on the brink of a global pandemic and witnessing the largest work from home experiment in the world! In June 2019, in addition to the trade war uncertainties, we saw the Hong Kong spring of protestors who took to the streets creating a new dimension of political uncertainty in Hong Kong which has affected the confidence of investors.

Although 2019 started off very positively much like 2018, the above-mentioned uncertainties have hindered investment activity for our clients particularly in the second half of the year. The mutual tariffs imposed due to the US-China trade war affected the real economy, killed demand and affected real suppliers in China. This created more bad debts in China affecting the performance of fixed income portfolio managers especially those focused on the Hong Kong and Chinese market. As a result, there were increased redundancies for this asset class. However, interestingly, this gave rise to private debt fund managers who emerged promising to restructure private company debts and in some cases, we saw traditional bond houses build their private debt teams. Hence, the demand for professionals with restructuring and debt investment skills was higher than in previous years.

With the above in mind, we are not at all surprised that 70% of all our hiring was in the family office, private markets space. Despite all the uncertainties, Asia can still boast over 15 trillion of AUM and we still expect the funds industry to grow in Asia and meet the PWC estimation of hitting 29 trillion of AUM by 2025 resulting in good job growth across Asia. In Singapore, we anticipate many new jobs will be created due to the newly developed Variable Capital Company (VCC) regime introduced by MAS which looks set to create at least 10,000 new jobs by 2030. We are anticipating more jobs to relocate to Singapore and remain optimistic.

Market Overview

A highlight from 2019 is the observance of new funds setting up their first operations in Singapore; we firmly believe that this will continue in 2020 and with more assistance by Singapore’s Variable Capital Companies (VCC) initiative, the figures could easily double and perhaps help bolster the impact of COVID-19 that seems to have impacted businesses globally. 

We have also observed that hiring trends for finance professionals in large corporations are skewed towards junior to mid-level hirings, hirings at this level typically will be focused on more SPV level work as compared to at the investment level. For a majority of new fund setups, typically employers are keen on mid-level fund finance professionals with approximately 8 to 12 years of experience, prior knowledge of attaining Registered Fund Management Company licences (RFMC) or Licensed Fund Management Company licences (LFMC) is highly advantageous. 

Hong Kong seems to be picking up for finance opportunities in buy-side however hirings are still relatively quiet as compared to 2017/2018. We witness more mid to senior-level finance professionals in demand, typically profiles with a combination of full sets of accounts, compliance and tax understanding are preferred. With the new Limited Partnership Fund (LPF) regime in Hong Kong, this is expected to entice more investors because of it’s quick processing while riding the trends of moving offshore funds to onshore.

Salary Guide

Read the pdf version of the Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide for Buy-Side Fund Finance here:

Funds Partnerships Asia Salary Guide 2020: Buy-Side Fund Finance


To find out more about the Buy-Side Fund Finance industry, please contact:

Daryl Ong

Senior Consultant