Mid Year Market Update & Salary

Written by Shingo Wong on 31/07/2017


During the past 6 months we have observed that conducting corporate governance within the financial services sector has become even more challenging due to the rapidly evolving regulatory landscape, geopolitical complications, and global digitalization. Additionally, with rising level of scrutiny and ethical expectations, the need for robust controls and transparency has become more crucial across banks, asset managers and other financial institutions.


Opportunities within the compliance industry have taken a turn towards more niche areas especially in the investment banking space where product advisory and regulatory reform specialists are needed to cope with the myriad of new regulations such as MiFID II. However, acquiring sponsorship for international candidates has become increasingly difficult which levies additional stress on a recruitment process as candidates who possess the relevant exposure often reside in another part of the world.

Asia continues to be a key growth market for the private banking sector but expansion strategies have been through acquiring and inclined towards the China market. The requirement for compliance professionals who are fluent in Mandarin has been on the rise to support this business focus.

In the corporate/wholesale banking arena, trade finance remains as one of the most challenging areas. There have been a number of new regulations and consultation papers released on this sector leading to a much higher level of scrutiny. Professionals who are familiar with the product sets and underlying risks are a rare commodity on the market.

Financial Crime Compliance:

AML hires in general have slowed down after a 2 years frenzy and the demand shifted towards sanctions advisory candidates who are able to provide the business guidance on strategic implementations to adapt with developments especially from the U.S.


Risk management is an area that has seen significant growth recently, with operational risk leading the demand. There has been a surge in technology risk management as well due to the push towards automation/digitalization of various processes.

The recent cyber hacks have put the spotlight even more on technology & cyber risk teams so expect these to be high growth areas over the near future. A recent Accenture market study observed a near zero unemployment rate in this sector so qualified candidate are in high demand.


We have not seen huge amount of movement within the audit function recently and the majority of the hires have been replacement headcounts. Some banks have a preference for candidates with second line of defense experience so that audit work can be carried out with a more regulatory and business centric mindset.

Salary Increases & Bonuses:

Salary increment and bonuses are not as competitive as last year due to expenditure control measures and rising costs of corporate governance. For the lucky ones who did receive annual salary adjustments, it averaged between 2-4%.

Bonuses were mostly dependent on business performance and forward strategy – some banks are in midst of reducing their APAC presence whereas some emerging markets focused banks are looking to strengthen their numbers.

For external moves, the base salary uplifts that we saw for corporate governance roles averaged around 15% with a downward trend as more and more candidates are motivated by the prospects and stability an opportunity offers instead of being fixated purely on the monetary rewards.




Associate/Assistant Vice

Vice President/Senior Vice












Regulatory Compliance

$35000 - 55000

$55000 - 100000

$110000 - 240000

$250000 - 350000


AML/Financial Crime Compliance 





$40000 - 60000

$60000 - 120000

$120000 - 240000

$240000 - 350000



$30000 - 50000

$50000 - 90000

$90000 - 180000

$180000 - 250000







Operational Risk

$35000 - 60000

$60000 – 120000

$120000 - 250000

$250000 - 350000


Credit Risk

$40000 - 60000

$60000 - 120000

$120000 - 250000

$250000 - 350000


Market Risk

$50000 - 80000

$80000 - 150000

$150000 - 280000

$280000 - 360000







Internal Audit

$40000 - 60000

$60000 - 100000

$100000 - 220000

$220000 - 350000


Black Swan Group is an award winning global corporate governance recruitment firm who launched here in Singapore in early 2014. We have developed a reputation for finding exceptional talent and matching them with exciting and unique opportunities. Initially founded in London in 2010 we now have 4 offices globally in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney supporting clients across the entire spectrum of financial services businesses.


If you are interested to find out more about market developments or need help with recruitment in the corporate governance area, please get in touch with us at +65 6521 4511 or singaporeinfo@blackswangroup.com

Speak Directly with an Expert

If you would like to find out how the Black Swan Group can assist you today, please get in touch via either of the below:

+65 65 214 510  or  singaporeinfo@blackswangroup.com