Scramble for talent looms as China opens up financial sector

Mismatch between the high-quality talent needed and the low-quality salaries on offer is a major concern

Scramble for talent looms as China opens up financial sector

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

China has made moves to open up its financial sector to foreign participants, but the market’s low salaries may cause a shortfall in big talent.

The lack of qualified and experienced financial sector professionals in the second-largest global economy could dampen its financial sector’s growth prospects, including the insurance industry, which happens to be the fastest-growing in the world.

According to the report, many global financial firms have their top China roles based in Singapore and Hong Kong, previously due to China’s ownership restrictions.

According to sources cited in a report by Reuters, the talent shortage is set to worsen in the coming years, as salaries in mainland China are much lower than what a Mandarin-speaking professional could get in Hong Kong, Singapore, or New York.

“We expect to see a new wave of hiring ... by international firms due to the country easing restrictions on foreign ownership in these areas,” said Simon Lance, managing director for Greater China at headhunting company Hays.

He added that Chinese firms may find it difficult to hire for senior positions, given the mismatch between their skills requirements and the compensation they can garner.

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