As banks in London and Europe grapple with the fallout from Brexit, Hong Kong and Singapore are suddenly looking like more attractive locations to work in.
But while headhunters in the two cities are fielding more calls from London finance professionals, demand for their talents remains fairly weak and limited to certain (mainly middle-office) job sectors.
If you’re a candidate from London – or any Western finance centre – your job search in Asia is likely to be challenging. This is what you need to do to get an edge on the competition.
1. Move internally
Try to move with your current firm. If you’re an overseas candidate and an unknown quantity, you present two sets of risk to a bank. “I moved regions because I was with the same bank. Going to Asia with a new employer, who is flooded with resumes of people with direct experience in the region, is a long shot,” says fintech CEO Tanmai Sharma, who previously relocated to Singapore with Deutsche Bank.
2. Build support in your bank
“I managed to move to Hong Kong eight years ago, two months after Bear Stearns declared bankruptcy – it was chaotic, similar to this post-Brexit situation,” says Laurence Fauchon, a former quant BNP Paribas who now runs a domestic helper website. “But I’d already wanted to move, so I’d already networked internally – my team head convinced senior management in Hong Kong to open a new headcount. Be aware of the needs of your department, so you can network with the relevant people and be the first to apply for an Asian position.”