House Issue 49 - August 2019

Welcome the 49th edition of House, and it still remains busy in the world of regulatory experts. The recruitment market in Asia Pacific remains relatively buoyant, much as the rest of the world is suggesting a downturn in Hong Kong, we are not noticing it yet and are still seeing firms growing and hiring staff.

There has been a big move globally with Edward Hanover leaving world football’s (it’s football, not soccer) governing body, FIFA, to join DLA Piper in the US.

We have included an extended selection of moves in this edition to demonstrate that although investment banking hiring is down, it is really firing in Asset Management (contrary to our report last month!), Hedge Funds, Cyber, Virtual Banking and the HFT market!

The most significant moves in Asia Pacific this month include Ken Pemberton moving from Standard Chartered to HSBC as a Managing Director in Financial Crime Threat Mitigation and the newly formed Virtual Banks hiring their first regulatory leaders.

In Europe, Kate Vetch has joined Macquarie as their new EMEA Head of Compliance. Richard Brearley, the incumbent is moving into the Chief Executives office to work on regulatory projects.

Asset Managers actually are hiring!

We reported last month that we didn’t think that asset managers had quite come to the party...however, several clients came back to us after last month’s House and said they have been hiring! and plan to do more!

Large asset managers, notably Schroders, Allianz, AIA Investments andFidelity have been adding depth to their global compliance teams. Have they been hiring from competitors or other sectors? In Asia, it has largely been from their competitors but we anticipate this to change.

Blackrock has led the way with the recent hire of Una Neery from Goldmans in New York as their Global Compliance Lead and Tristan Strobl in Hong Kong from UBS. We have also started to see more structure in compliance departments along the lines of their sell-side counterparts: dedicated product-specific advisory teams are starting to emerge along with separate teams focussing on anti-money laundering, anti-bribery and corruption.

We still don’t think the asset management sector has quite got to the level that banks did between 2008-2018 or will get to this level, but there has definitely been an uplift and we anticipate this to continue.

The talent pool remains small in asset management and we anticipate more hiring to come, especially from the banking sector.

Cyber-Crime Prevention - has it arrived?

Cyber has been a word on everyone’s lips for the last 6 years due to the global ‘scandals’ brought about by Wikileaks and the the Pananama Papers and high profile data breaches at firms such as Target. At Arion House we made a big push into the sector in 2016/17 and tried to establish a dedicated offering, however it appeared to be a somewhat phony war as no-one really hired to scale or at a C-suite level.

Large global incidents such as ‘WannaCry’ and ‘Petya’ and then the huge breach at Cathay in the last 18 months have brought it back on to the radar of CEOs globally and we are starting to see hiring, especially within consulting. All of the Big 4 have made extensive hires in the sector, indeed this month we have seen Brian Wilson join Deloitte in Hong Kong from KPMG as their third dedicated Cyber Partner.

We anticipate this hiring surge to continue throughout the next six months, specifically within in-house teams at financial services firms and large multi-nationals. The growth of cyber-consulting teams within the Big 4 and leading technology firms has inadvertently created a candidate pool from which firms can target.

Virtual Banks - they are here and they are hiring!

The HKMA finally made some positive and progressive moves last month, announcing that 8 new banks have been approved and will be operating imminently. HSBC seem to be losing people rapidly to the virtual banking sector with the latest move coming from Kenneth Tong who joins Livi Bank as their Head of Financial Crime Compliance. Livi Bank have also hired Anna Tsai as Chief Compliance Officer and Debbie Man has become the new Chief Compliance Officer at Ping An One Connect. Standard Chartered have also moved Wendy Ennis internally to head up the financial crime prevention team at their Virtual Banking Offering.

The Virtual or ‘Challenger’ banking market revolutionised the options for compliance officers in the UK when they came to the fore 2 years ago and it seems that a similar situation is on the cards in Hong Kong. We anticipate more hiring and some exciting opportunities for regulatory professionals across Hong Kong.