2019 China Financial Services Market Overview

December 23, 2019 3 mins read

In 2020, though market volatility is unavoidable, we still expect a strong growth on the talent market. A large number of the positions will be new headcounts. New things always come with both excitements and risks. Here at Morgan McKinley China, we look forward to march onto this challenging year of 2020, serve you with our best professionalism, local networks, and innovative solutions, to fulfill all of your hiring needs.

2019 is an exciting year for the China onshore market. For one thing, the restructures amongst the existing players are still ongoing, with larger & reputable institutions taking most of the new businesses on the market, and mid-small institutions fight to find their niche and new growth points. 

The local talents change with the markets, 2019, is the year where it is much easier for big names on hiring talents, where small institutions struggle to retain their star employees.

On the other hand, this market had not been this dynamic since the mid-2000s, which was the time of multi-national banks setting up onshore, and market-driven local financial institutions start to go into the Greater China region stage. Similar to that, this year, we have witnessed the sprouting of banking wealth management companies (银行理财子公司), experienced joint ventures getting into an MNC majority control stage, to the stage where MNC banks are allowed to get major holding of local regional banks, and the loosen policies on QFII. At the end of the year, we warmly welcome the upcoming Financial Advisory Companies (投资顾问牌照), Robo-advisors coming next year, and the looming WFoE Fund Management Companies.

However, impressive as it is, and exciting as it might be, China has never been an easy market to make money from.

Just as many changes happened this year, it also marks the upcoming year wich offers risks no less than the opportunities for both employers and talents. As we have identified: the most challenging task for local companies is to strengthen its middle & back offices for risk controls in fund management. To do this, they also need to be open & lift their profit return expectation to a long-term product & business cycle, changing the mindset to local dominance gradually to a more APAC regional growth mind for business expansions.

For the WFoEs and new joint ventures, we cannot emphasize enough importance to your adaptability to the local market. For example, one stereotype we hear every month is the idea of English fluency represents the quality of a candidate - this does not apply to the local market. A majority of the top-tier local candidates cannot speak fluent English, especially the compliance & operations candidates; this is only because their working environments do not require them to speak English for the past years. They all come from a decent educational background with proper professional training. Given a quarter or two, they will soon pick up their English proficiencies. When in Rome, do what Romans do; localisation is they key to the success in this market.


Eric Zhu's picture
Eric Zhu
Operations Director | Financial Services Recruitment