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4 minute read

Want a Career Switch to Singapore’s Wealth Management and Financial Services Sector? Here’s an Intro

Thinking about making a career switch to wealth and financial services? Learn more about what that entails.

In September 2022, Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong shared that Singapore’s financial sector industry transformation map (ITM), with targets to create 3,000 to 4,000 net jobs annually and achieve average growth of 4-5% on average annually from now till 2025.

DPM Wong shared: “Amidst all this (referring to the Covid-19 pandemic and digital disruption), Asia remains a region with high growth potential in the global economy, and we should contribute to its growth.

“As such, we are updating the ITM: looking at ways to seize new opportunities while staying resilient against emerging risks; and updating our plans, strategies and targets for the next five years.”

“This will help nurture more Singaporean specialists and leaders in finance and ensure that Singaporeans are able to take up good jobs that the financial sector will continue to generate in the years to come.”

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As such, traditional financial sectors such as wealth and asset management will need to grow their hiring to match up to Singapore’s goals as a financial centre. Banks based here will continue to hire in response to business opportunities to further develop their capabilities and business.

Susan Cheong, DBS’ talent acquisition group head, shared with Workipedia by MyCareersFuture: “We anticipate hiring to continue for growth areas, with wealth management being one of them.”

Wealth and asset management- what exactly does it entail?

In recent years, there has been a tech-driven disruption of financial services, as investors seek more control and transparency over their financial futures. This is especially vital given growing longevity rates, with the current life expectancy in Singapore in 2023 at 84.07 years, a 0.16% increase from 2022.

This means that investors are increasingly concerned about accumulating enough assets to fund their longer retirement.

But human advisors have still been crucial for many investors, as they share details of their finances and personal lives. Right now, artificial intelligence (AI) and tech solutions still can’t listen and nurture a relationship the way a human advisor can, or change investment plans based on clients ever-evolving life priorities.

Ultimately, according to international professional services network Deloitte’s report on 10 Disruptive Trends in Wealth Management, banks and financial services institutions will have “to embrace a hybrid advisory model, balancing science-based advice to meet certain client needs” while focusing their resources and time on the elements of advice where they can add the most value, and differentiate themselves.

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What do banks and financial institutions need in their wealth and asset management hires?

As such, in today’s modern job marketplace, potential candidates aren’t just judged by their functional skill sets, but by how they can value-add to the overall customer experience.

Susan elaborated: “Some key attributes we look out for in a wealth planning manager are individuals with strong client-centricity attitudes, effective communication and interpersonal skills, and having the ability to work under pressure.

“That is why we have seen wealth planning managers who made mid-career switches from a different industry who found success in banking.

“They possess these invaluable skills from their rich personal and life experiences that they bring to the table.”

Read More: Banking and Financial Services – Hiring & Salary Outlook 2023

Making a long-term career in asset and wealth management means lifelong upskilling

In the case of DBS, their goal is to help their wealth management employees continue to grow and develop according to where the marketplace could evolve.

To that end, they provide AI-powered platforms that help identify skill gaps and prepare personalised development plans for their employees, coupled with a library of over 10,000 free learning courses to follow up with.

The bank encourages mid-career hires who join their wealth management teams to participate in structured training programmes, providing in-depth and hands-on training on wealth product solutions, systems and processes.

Susan shared: “In addition, our ‘Be My Guest’ programme gives all employees, including our wealth planning managers, the opportunity to spend a day shadowing a leader, attend an executive meeting as a guest, or join a different team in a project to gain fresh insights and exposure.

Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) acknowledge that competition for jobs in the banking sector can be intense, and mid-career switchers can face challenges in terms of their lack of experience and industry-specific knowledge.

As such, they shared with Workipedia by MyCareersFuture how new entrants to the industry can acquire new skills while demonstrating their ability to learn quickly and adapt to new environments, by taking part in:

  • Professional courses and certifications
  • Bootcamps and accelerators
  • Industry associations and networking events

A spokesperson from SCB also shared: “We partner with government agencies to participate in initiatives such as the Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) to help mid-career professionals transition into the banking sector.”

“Under the CCP programme, hiring managers are encouraged to hire near fit local professionals and provide on-the-job training to upskill themselves in areas where there may be a skillset gap.”

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