The Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide 2020 : Trust & Fiduciary

2 Apr 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

There’s always a light at the end of every dark tunnel, and perhaps this could be it. 2020 could be the window to many opportunities for the Trust and Fiduciary space thanks to local initiatives, the current global pandemic and creative solutions by service providers. One such initiative is Singapore’s Global Investors Programme (GIP) that aims to attract (Ultra) High Net Worth Investors and entrepreneurs to live in Singapore and allow foreigners to apply for permanent residency if they invest at least $2.5 million to start or expand a business here, or in a GIP fund that invests in Singapore-based companies. 

With the attraction of the GIP, an immediate outcome could be the potential ease of impact due to the viral chaos via new job creations within the new businesses and also with fiduciary service providers. Whilst we see efforts from local governments building local healthcare sectors and pharmaceutical firms to curb the situation, we believe the silver lining of this dark cloud is the building of commercial and private sectors again with the aid of the GIP in 5 to 10 years to come. 

Our fiduciary clients have mentioned their activities in setting up businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong; regardless of an independent trust firm or a bank, we are optimistic that hiring demands across all levels from trust administrators to private client services directors will remain, though it would not be as active as it was in 2018 and 2019. We see a steady demand for junior talent to conduct trust administration work, and anticipate a couple of senior hires to support these new business activities.

Salary Guide

Read the pdf version of the Funds Partnership Asia’s Salary Guide for Trust & Fiduciary here:

Funds Partnerships Asia Salary Guide 2020: Trust & Fiduciary


To find out more about the Trust & Fiduciary industry, please contact:

Andy Ng

Principal Consultant