Hong Kong bankers don't always earn more than Singaporeans
You might think that Hong Kong’s investment bankers make more than Singapore’s. And… Well, you’d be right. But not always, across an entire career.
Data from Bloomberg shows that, assuming that a banker takes three years to get a promotion, they’ll earn around $75k (USD) more by the time they reach Executive Director (ED) level if they’re in Hong Kong as opposed to Singapore. But the picture isn’t quite so clear when you zoom in on the figures.
Whilst analysts and associates in Hong Kong earn way, way more than their counterparts in Singapore ($30k and $34k more, respectively), they lose their salary advantage to Singapore at VP and director levels ($9k and $30k more, respectively). Here, Singaporeans earn the most.
Another notch up, Bloomberg says ED salaries are heavily skewed back in favor of Hong Kong – the average ED in the city earns over $40k more than their Singaporean counterpart.
That might seem like game, set, and match for Hong Kong as the ideal location for an APAC banking career, but the real-life situation is more complicated than that. Why? Because the majority – vast majority, even – of bankers never get promoted beyond VP or director.
Trying to get promoted as soon as possible is the best way to maximise your career earnings, of course. Start in Hong Kong - but if you can take a mid-career Singaporean role with your VP promotion, go for it. Just make sure you move back to Hong Kong when you hit ED.
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