Increased regulation of the finance sector and negative media focus on compensation packages have led to perceptions of restricted salaries, bonuses and of stifled opportunities for growth, causing finance professionals to have insecurities about the likelihood of positive prospects for the coming year. But it's not all doom and gloom for those in the Finance sector.
Singapore finance professionals working in risk management or quant analytics roles were the most optimistic about their employment prospects for 2013. Professionals in this area had positive perceptions of salary, bonus and promotion prospects.
A total of 42.9 per cent of those who answered that their promotion prospects were improving worked in risk management or quant analytics. Similarly, those who worked in risk management or quant analytics also made up 38 per cent of those who thought that a salary increase was likely in the coming months.
This positivity could be attributed to the increased focus on regulation within the industry. Those working in regulatory roles have seen an increase in prospects as the demand for compliance, legal and risk management professional's increases.
"Risk Management is a strong sector at the moment in terms of hiring, legal requirements for institutions to be regulated have tightened and demand to fill these role increased," said Duncan Kennedy, Head of Quant's and Risk, Selby Jennings Asia Pacific.
Those with the most negative perception of employment prospects across all regions worked in sales and trading. Tighter regulation has affected bonuses and growth in this sector leading to a perceived decrease in prospects.
Up to 40.8 per cent of those who answered that their promotion prospects were decreasing, and 41.2 per cent of those who believed that bonus prospects were decreasing worked in sales.
Those who worked in technology roles made up 38.5 per cent of those who believed a salary increase over the coming months is unlikely.
However, with the increased focus on growth, it is predicted for 2013 that opportunities in traditional revenue generating functions such as sales and trading will improve, the recruitment firm said.
What does this mean for candidates?
Regulatory positions will offer job security and increased prospects during 2013. Opportunities will continue to grow for those in risk, compliance and legal roles. Candidates looking for Job security should consider roles of this nature.
While it has been challenging for those in sales and trading roles, there is likely to be an increase in opportunities for those who can prove ability to drive growth, profit and efficiency.