Financial Institutions to Increase Salaries by 5% and Pay 6 Months Bonus in 2016, Albeit Tightened Belts
Pretium study finds financial institutions will increase salaries by 5% and pay bonus equivalent to 6 months salaries despite cost cutting.
HONG KONG, December 3, 2015 – Financial institutions will increase pay by 5% in Hong Kong and China, and will pay 6 months salaries as bonus despite cost cutting, according to independent management consulting firm, Pretium Partners Asia Limited ("Pretium").
The Pretium Year-end Reward and Human Resource Trends Study - 2015 (“Study”) shows the financial services industry is planning to increase pay by 5% in Hong Kong and China, and pay bonus equivalent to 6 months salaries despite belt tightening. Regional and local firms are more aggressive than their international counterparts in terms of pay increase and bonus payouts to retain staff.
The Study examined actual results and expectations on business performance, salary review budget, bonus pool movements, headcount changes, long-term incentives, benefits and performance management practices among financial institutions. It covers 76 international and Asian investment banks, asset management and private equities firms as well as insurance companies with multiple offices in Asia.
Cost cutting is the main theme among global banks in Asia due to unsatisfactory business performance, so caution is applied to compensation budget. This echoes with the slowdown of the Chinese economy which has marked the end of explosive growth among Chinese firms. Albeit the tightening of the purse string and relatively low inflation across Greater China, salaries in Hong Kong and China are expected to increase by 5%, more than their counterparts in Singapore (3.7%) and Taiwan (3%) in 2016. Other developed markets, like South Korea, Japan and Australia, projected a 2.8% to 3.3% for salary increase next year according to the Study.
Over 40% of the surveyed firms indicated 2015 performance will be better than last year. However, bonus levels will slightly decrease due to tightening of purse string. Across the financial services industry, the median bonus payout will be 6 months of salaries next year, slightly lower than 6.2 months a year ago. “Chinese investment banks are the frontrunner of bonus levels as some of their revenue growth have jumped more than 100% this year and they have displaced some international players on the investment banking league tables. However, clouding views on US interest rates, uncertainties surrounding when will China regain momentum and recent compliance crackdowns will steer firms to lean on the conservative side,” said May Poon, Partner at Pretium. “Private equities firms can expect to get more bonuses due to surge in fundraising and investments but international firms in Asia are not as optimistic due to continuous restructuring.”
With a tighter pay and bonus budget, some companies rely on long-term incentive as an important retention driver. 75% of the firms have deferred bonus in 2015 due to more stringent global regulatory requirements and shareholders’ scrutiny. International firms tend to defer a higher percentage of total incentives for senior executives compared with other Asian banks and asset management firms. However, only 42 % of surveyed firms provided additional long-term incentives (“LTI”). More financial institutions have come to realize a simple time-based deferred cash bonus is insufficient in terms of quantum and features to drive the partnership model advocated by the internet and high-tech companies. “Partnership is characterized by meaningful ownership and emphasis on alignment of interest so that awardees, who become significant owners of the company, will act in the best interest of the company and drive their own business with passion, entrepreneurial spirit while managing risk,” said Ms Poon. “The partnership model echoes with the value propositions of the new generation and help financial institutions cope with talent drain and shortage.”
About Pretium Year-end Reward and Human Resource Trends Study - 2015
The Pretium Year-end Reward and Human Resource Trends Study - 2015 examined performance, reward and human resources trends in Asia, including business performance expectations, expected salary review budget and bonus pool movements, headcount changes, long-term incentive, benefits and performance management practices among financial institutions. It covers 76 international and Asian investment banks, asset management and private equities firms as well as insurance companies with multiple offices in Asia.
About Pretium Partners Asia Limited
Pretium Partners Asia Limited ("Pretium") is an independent management consulting firm that helps accelerate clients' growth and increase profitability through unique spectrum of management consulting services which includes incentive plan review and design, organization transformation, benchmarking, performance management, IPO corporate governance as well as mergers and acquisitions integration.
SOURCE: Pretium Partners Asia Limited
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