Risk & Compliance 2016 Salary Guide

Beatrix Lee 18.01.2016

Financial Institutions are cautious in providing significant basic salary increments for external hires and are conducting thorough benchmarking exercises when recruiting externally.

A lack of supply of available professionals is affecting hiring across the risk, legal and compliance market in Hong Kong. In both legal & compliance and risk, employers are competing for workers with a certain skillset due to regulatory fines and regulatory mandates. 

The China crisis has affected the Hong Kong market significantly and many companies are faced with extremely tight recruitment budgets. However, organisations still need to recruit as regulators are pushing them to have strong risk and control processes. Financial Institutions are cautious in providing significant basic salary increments for external hires and are conducting thorough benchmarking exercises when recruiting externally. 

There is a good gender balance in compliance, credit risk and operational risk candidates. In market risk where positions are more quantitative, there are more male managers. However, the number of women working in this area is increasing, as more females study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at university. Overall, the legal sector has a good ratio of male to female, particularly in-house roles, as it provides a better work/life balance for lawyers and allows women to pursue a professional legal career and at the same time have a family. Private practice has more men due to its extremely long hours and frequent travel. 

In Hong Kong, 85% of legal, risk and compliance professionals are local hires, as most organisations cannot accommodate expatriate or relocation packages with current recruitment budgets. Most hiring in risk, legal and compliance was for permanent roles in 2015. However, in the fourth quarter of 2015, there was strong demand for contracting positions; with a view to these becoming permanent headcount by 2016. The contracting market continues to expand and positions are evolving in AML, general compliance and business compliance. There has been a huge demand on the contracting side for AML KYC remediation projects across financial services sector in Hong Kong in 2015.

In-demand compliance professionals can expect basic salary increments of 15-25% for a lateral move, and bonuses are expected to be flat for 2015 (between 1-3 months and up to 4 months for exceptional performers). Risk management professionals can expect basic salary increments of 15-20% with bonuses between 1-3 months for 2015. Talent retention and re-training has been on the top priority list for most of our clients this year and this focus will continue for 2016 as replacement hires are proving to be very costly.

Compliance Salaries

Role: Analyst Associate/AVP VP/Sr. Manager SVP/Director Sr. Director
BASIC SALARIES (HK$ PER MONTH)
Head of Compliance - - - $125k - $170k $183k+
Regulatory Compliance $20k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $100k $110k - $150k $160k+
AML $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $150k $170k+
Product Specific Advisory $20k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $160k $170k+
General Compliance $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $100k $110k - $130k $140k+
IBD / Research $20k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $150k $160k+
Control Room $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $110k - $140k $150k+
Monitoring / Surveillance $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $70k - $108k $110k - $120k $130k+
Private Banking Compliance $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $160k $170k+
Buy-side Compliance $15k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $140k $150k+
Tax Compliance $25k - $35k $40k - $70k $75k - $108k $110k - $120k $130k+
Banking Lawyer $50k - $80k $80k - $100k $108k - $140k $140k - $180k $183k+

Risk Management Salaries

Role: Analyst Associate/AVP VP/Sr. Manager SVP/Director Sr. Director
BASIC SALARIES (HK$ PER MONTH)
Head of Risk - - - $133k - $180k $183k+
Market Risk Management $25k - $40k $45k - $70k $75k - $110k $120k - $170k $180k+
Market Risk Reporting $15k - $35k $40k - $65k $70k - $100k $100k - $110k $120k+
Quantitative Analysis $25k - $40k $45k - $70k $75k - $120k $120k - $150k $160k+
Operational Risk $15k - $35k $40k - $65k $70k - $116k $116k - $150k $150k+
Credit Risk Analysis $25k - $40k $45k - $70k $75k - $108k $110k - $160k $160k+
Buy-side Risk $25k - $40k $45k - $70k $70k - $110k $116k - $150k $160k+
Beatrix Lee's picture
Senior Manager | Financial Services Operations Recruitment
blee@morganmckinley.com.hk

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