Market Views: Top three hiring trends among asset managers

As industry trends drive demand for specialised skills in 2024, what are the most sought-after job roles currently shaping the future of Asia's asset management industry?
Market Views: Top three hiring trends among asset managers

As the investment industry in Asia experiences the emergence of different themes and trends, the skills needed to manage assets are also changing.

The demand for skills is being driven by different and emerging investments and strategies in Asia. This includes not only traditional asset management skills but also expertise in areas like environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices and artificial intelligence (AI).

As certain Asian markets begin to attract more investment or become better at raising funds, there's growing need for people skilled in building and maintaining client relationships, especially within specific markets.

AsianInvestor asked industry insiders to name the top three roles that will be in demand for among asset managers over the rest of 2024.

The following responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Ken Cogger, Head of HR, international
Nikko Asset Management

Ken Cogger

The rapidly evolving Asian asset management landscape is driven by technology and changing investor needs.

This needs AI and data scientists to harness data's power.

These specialists use machine learning models and advanced analytics tools to develop algorithms for portfolio optimisation, risk management, and fraud detection.

Strong coding skills in Python and R are crucial in this data-driven future. Their expertise is crucial for deriving insights from vast datasets to guide investment decisions.

Within fixed income, Asia's booming bond market, fuelled by rising debt and local currency expansion, presents fertile ground for specialists with expertise in high-yield, emerging markets, and sustainable bonds.

Data visualisation tools and proprietary pricing models are essential for analysing complex bond instruments.

Additionally, these specialists must navigate diverse regulatory landscapes across Asia. They use tools like Bloomberg for analysis and navigate diverse Asian regulations.

The surging demand for diversification, cost efficiency, and transparency drives the growth of the Asian ETF market.

ETF specialists skilled in product development, marketing, and distribution who can adapt to investors' needs and navigate evolving regulations will remain crucial in 2024. Their expertise is essential in creating innovative products for Asian investors.

Richard Siaw, director of Southeast Asia
Global X ETFs

Richard Siaw

Proliferation of the Asian ETF landscape should continue in 2024 as an improving regulatory landscape will accelerate ETF product development among existing local and foreign ETF managers as well as new entrants.

While the increase in ETF offerings is welcome by investors, firms looking to hire ETF talents could face challenges given the limited talent pool, especially the competitive cost nature of ETFs means leaner teams and smaller operations.

As ETFs are accessible globally, an ETF’s popularity in this case lies in the role of the digital marketer who is adept at digital content, digital engagement, and marketing analytics.

Competing in the digital playground, successful marketing of an ETF should correlate with higher trading volumes and better liquidity.

Distribution roles are changing at the same time.

We think the role of ETF advisor or strategist is likely to emerge due to a general lack of established ETF due diligence and selection methodology.

The unique intersection of ETFs with trading execution, index services, fund management, and rapid innovation in the wrapper increases the complexity of selling ETFs

Lim Pang Qi, CEO Singapore and Southeast Asia
HSBC Asset Management (Singapore) Limited

Lim Pang Qi

The first type is multi-disciplined sales specialists.

As asset management capabilities continue to widen and increase in complexity, across asset classes, alternatives, sustainability themes, a highly technical sales specialist aligning all capabilities on top of acute relationship management skills could prove the difference.

In terms of distribution channels, the ability to engage both intermediary and institutional clients is a key success factor.

Secondly, product innovation specialists will be sought after. As markets, capabilities and client expectations evolve, so will product characteristics.

In view of this, the ability to listen to clients, observe, adapt, and even more so anticipate market trends and subsequently design and innovate for unique investment outcomes could make a difference between “first-mover” and “me too participant” in what would be an increasingly saturated product universe.

To possess the knowledge of a diverse range of fund vehicles optimal for client needs would also help bring these solutions to market effectively.

A third theme is within generative AI roles to automate a myriad of tasks such as reporting, compliance, risk monitoring, data entry and identification of trends and patterns in client documents or reports.

This could effectively shorten review processes and improve reporting accuracy, creating overall improved client servicing standards. 


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