2019 Financial Services Front Office Salary Guide
Expected salary range in 2019 for financial services front office professionals in Tokyo including corporate banking.
|Front Office Salaries in Financial Services (¥ Million Per Annum)|
|Fixed Income Sales|
|Fixed Income Trading|
|FX / Commodities|
|IBD Coverage Banking|
|ECM / DCM|
|M&A Product Specialist|
|Structured Finance / Securitisation|
Commentary on Front Office in Financial Services Roles and Remuneration in Tokyo for 2019
In the early part of 2018, global economic uncertainty impacted hiring into Tokyo's investment banking front office functions. From *Q2 onward job volume was much healthier, but despite that there was still an 8 % decrease year on year from 2017.
We saw demand for M&A specialists and IBD coverage bankers (particularly in TMT and GIG). A strong Yen meant some organisations benefited from an increase in cross border M&A. Subsequently professionals with M&A execution skills were particularly high in demand throughout the year. IBD analysts with experience from global investment banks were much sought after too.
Gender and diversity ratios have increasingly become topical in recent years. Many investment banks have sought to improve the gender ratios in their front office functions, especially since female representation in these divisions has, for the most part, been historically low. Flexible working practices are also becoming very important to companies and working professionals. Most financial institutions are actively promoting Digital Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to attract talent.
Uncertainty created by Brexit made many banks take a cautious approach to their hiring strategies. Robotics and AI were certainly the buzzwords for the industry in 2018, and we even saw the creation of new positions such as AI Strategists within equity trading teams.
In 2019, the economic growth related to the Rugby World Cup (2019) and the Olympics (2020) may benefit the industry. The uncertainty of Brexit may, however, influence headcount plans amongst some of the global banks. We also anticipate technologies such as AI to continue to have an impact on the type of hiring that will take place throughout the year.
Our advice for clients and hiring managers is that if you want to hire in the best talent into your organisations, you must engage recruitment partners who can provide you with a complete market overview. Top professionals seldom proactively seek new opportunities themselves. Our advice for job seekers is to find a recruiter who is an expert in your area/s of expertise, as they will be able to show you a wider selection of opportunities than you could find for yourself.
* The standard calendar quarters
|Front Office in Corporate Banking Salaries (¥ Million Per Annum)|
|Corporate Banking Relationship Managers|
|Transaction Banking (Cash Management & Trade Finance)|
|Structured & Project Finance|
Commentary on Front Office in Corporate Banking Roles and Remuneration in Tokyo for 2019
Overall, job volume in corporate banking front office was slightly down, a 3% decrease year-on-year from 2017. Hiring activity in Japanese megabanks was considerably lower than previous years as they looked to consolidate many of their Japan-based traditional operations due to lack of profitability. Japanese banks shifted their hiring focus to Fintech areas such as payment solutions, as well as investing in their overseas Japan desks. Job volume from global banks, however, was consistent throughout the year, particularly in cash management functions.
There was demand for relationship managers and transaction bankers, especially in the cash management sales and product areas in 2018. The strong Yen meant that a number of firms benefited from the increase in inbound Trade Finance business. Professionals with multi product skills and junior level bankers from the Japanese megabanks were the most keenly sought-after profiles in the market during the year.
Many banks looked to hire qualified female professionals in a bid to improve their gender diversity ratios, particularly into their quickest growing areas such as transaction banking.
The recent emphasis on improving work-life balance in organisations in Japan is proving to be a very popular benefit for banking professionals, especially the ability to work from home and flexible working hours.
Some of the European based banks were a little more conservative in their hiring as a result of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
There have been some rapid changes and improvements of payment systems which have increased demand for extra headcount in a number of organisations payment solutions businesses.
The three main areas driving this demand are connectivity, processing and security.
Attracting top talent has been difficult as the size of the pool of qualified professionals has remained stable for a number of years now. In an attempt to engage professionals who are not proactive jobseekers, some banks arranged informal initial meetings. These are viewed as a pre-interview process, normally outside of the office, to introduce the job requirements and the bank's culture in a casual setting.
Overall, job volume is expected to increase in the coming year. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the global economy in early 2019, the market sentiment is cautiously optimistic. We anticipate a healthy demand within the relationship management, transaction banking and Fintech areas.
Our advice to potential job seekers is to be open to accept new changes and be flexible when considering job opportunities. The skills required by our client organisations today are changing and will continue to change for the foreseeable future.