FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Will Hong Kong bankers have more money in the bank?

Survey shows Hong Kong-based investment banking and fund management staff expect an average bonus worth 37% of their salary for 2011.

The survey by financial services recruitment firm Astbury Marsden amongst 630 investment bankers and hedge fund in Hong Kong suggests that average bonuses are expected to be approximately HK$330,000.

The survey report said:

Bonus expectations in Hong Kong for 2011 are significantly higher than among City staff in London, where the average is expected to be 24% of base pay.

The survey revealed that just 7% of bankers in Hong Kong are not expecting a bonus for 2011, compared to 12% in London who say they do not expect a bonus.

Mark O’Reilly, Managing Director of Astbury Marsden Asia Pacific says: “Before the credit crunch bankers and hedge fund staff might have lobbied for multiples of their base pay, but now bonus expectations are far more modest.”

Mark O’Reilly says: “Banks and hedge funds in Hong Kong have performed comparatively better in 2011 than their counterparts in London or New York and consequently staff who have been generating higher profits will be more optimistic about their anticipated bonuses. For example, the corporate finance market in Hong Kong has remained more buoyant than in London and New York.”

According to Deal Logic, companies raised over US$30.9 billion through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2011, overshadowing both New York and London ($30.7 billion and $18 billion respectively).

Mark O’Reilly says: “There is a continued trend for banking and investment management work to move from the West to the East. Banks and funds in Hong Kong are partly using bonuses to reward staff and partly to retain staff, as there is still competition for top talent.”

Astbury Marsden explains that average basic pay for investment banking and fund management rose by 15% to approximately HK$890,000 in 2011, up from approximately HK$775,000 twelve months previously.

Managing Directors (MDs) have the highest bonus expectations, with the average MD expecting a bonus of 52% (approximately HK$1,250,000).

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