Banks and headhunters in Asia have already begun fielding calls from London finance professionals looking to relocate to the region in the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote.
But their timing couldn’t be worse – aside from specialist roles, opportunities for expats in Hong Kong and Singapore are now thin on the ground.
“Since Friday I’ve received a very significant number of enquiries from London,” says Matthew Hoyle, a former options trader who now runs headhunters Matthew Hoyle Financial Markets in Hong Kong.
“People there are worried about vast job cuts and Canary Wharf becoming a ghost town. And many Londoners don’t want to move to Europe – they’d prefer Asia Pacific.”
Job applications and enquiries from the UK will only increase in the coming weeks, says a senior manager at a European bank in Singapore. “I think more British bankers will be looking for a ‘safe haven’ in Asia,” he says.
“Brexit will now make London professionals focus more on Asia than in the past because Asia gives them a perceived insulation from the uncertainty they’ll face in the UK,” adds Pathik Gupta, an associate partner at consultancy McLagan in Singapore.