The unrest and uncertainty of 2019 in Hong Kong will echo long into the future in many ways. Without a crystal ball, it is hard to predict how Fintechs in Hong Kong might fare over the next year, but the current certainty is that confidence in its immediate prosperity has taken a body blow.
No matter what your political persuasion, the last seven months have radically changed the global business hub. The economy has hit a downturn and talent is relocating for more stable climes.
Having said this (and I find it strange having to write this, as it is stating the obvious)…. life goes on. The region retains its status as a fantastic hub for fintech talent, and while certain companies might be moving their operations and executives might be shipping out to another country in the region, the nature of the market means that the talent is simply being absorbed in different places.
Fintechs in Hong Kong Moving HQ’s to Singapore
In the last few months, we have noticed that numerous Fintechs in Hong Kong are moving their APAC headquarters and people to Singapore.
- On a recent trip to San Francisco and London, I spoke with a number of CEOs and Global Heads of Sales at Fintech companies and they mentioned an interest in APAC expansion although diverting their hiring to Singapore instead of Hong Kong
- I spoke to an MD of a small Fintech firm in Hong Kong this morning and he will be relocating his head office to Singapore within the next financial quarter
- A number of Fintech professionals have mentioned they are open to relocating abroad because of the uncertainty of the Hong Kong market
- Although salary levels are usually 5-10% higher in Hong Kong, demand for talent to relocate to Singapore has increased in the past 2-3 months
The Hong Kong fintech scene might not be thriving, but it is certainly not down and out. To slightly misquote Mark Twain: “the reports of its death are greatly exaggerated.” In a world where every piece of news should be read with a pinch of salt, there are still tonnes of Fintech (and many other) companies out there doing amazing work and they still very much need the brightest and the best to take them forward.
When people leave, they need to be replaced
This fluid situation is presenting opportunities to bring in new talent and invigorate thinking on an unprecedented scale. When the size of personnel change is significant, it can go one of two ways…. you can aim to replace people or you can aim to find someone better.
To conclude, the events of the past year or so have been shocking and devastating for many who love this amazing place, but if we all keep investing in our people (and believing in them), a more stable and prosperous future will come along sooner than we think.
Alan Anwar is the Managing Director at Datasearch Consulting, a leading executive recruitment firm specialising in the Financial Technology & Data sectors.
You can download their FREE comprehensive guide on “The Complete Guide to Hiring Fintech & Data Talent – 5 Proven Steps to Secure the Best Candidates Possible” here. Alternatively you can view the Datasearch Consulting website or contact them directly on firstname.lastname@example.org for a more detailed discussion.