Hays specialist recruitment is among the participants exchanging ideas at the CFO Innovation Shanghai Forum that began today in Shanghai.
The Forum is being attended by over 100 senior finance executives from a wide range of industries to exchange ideas about how to expand business responsibly, mitigate risk, adopt innovative financial practices, train future financial leaders, implement productive practices, and most importantly develop Chief Financial Officers.
The event coincides with the release of the recruiter’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand in China that highlights candidates in the accountancy & finance and banking sectors are currently in short supply.
Simon Lance, Regional Director of Hays in China, participated in a panel discussion on career development and talent retention in the financial sector and talked about what new skill sets will be required of CFOs and other finance functions in China.
“We are already seeing healthy demand for professionals in China’s financial sector. Central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan promises further liberalisation of the sector in the years ahead and this bodes well for job creation,” says Simon.
“The potential liberalisation of deposit rates within one or two years, a quickened pace for the internationalisation of the renminbi and the introduction of more competition into the banking sector by allowing more private capital to enter China's banking business is all set to stimulate growth.
“China will also set up five private banks on a trial basis before the practice is extended to more places.
The first batch of five banks will be in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang Province and Guangdong Province.
“In view of this, we expect to see more demand for talent in the private banking sector in the near future, especially in the five markets mentioned. As China is now taking the first steps towards establishing the renminbi as an international investment currency, experts in renminbi internationalisation are likely to be especially sought after.”
Simon expects tax experts will be increasingly in demand as the liberalisation takes place. “Tax policies often change and need to be interpreted by professionals. Most multinational companies already hire tax specialists to communicate with the tax bureau in order to minimise tax risk and reduce unnecessary tax payments. There is currently a shortage of tax specialists and we see this continuing.
“Also, as stricter regulations are being imposed on internal audit and the control of foreign banks, most banks will hire Product Auditors to enhance their business performance and minimise risk.
“In the banking sector we are already seeing foreign banks starting to focus more on their transaction banking business due to China moving towards a fully market-based system of interest rates. We expect qualified Transaction Banking Sales Managers to be highly sought after as the banks can no longer earn large profits by only focusing on the interest rate differentials.
“For small to medium sized enterprises finance candidates with good HR, legal and administration experience are also in demand,” adds Simon.
A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots in Accountancy & Finance for April to June 2014 follows:
Reporting Consolidation Managers – More companies are seeking senior Finance Managers for their headquarters in order to standardise reporting with subsidiaries.
Financial Analysis Controllers – Skilful senior Analysis Managers who have experience working in multinational corporations are highly sought after by supply-chain focused companies.
Tax Expertise – There is a shortage of tax specialists in Southern China and companies are expected to increase efforts in this area as tax regulations often change.
Costing Managers – Manufacturers are paying more attention to cost management and as a result these professionals are highly sought after.
GL Accountants – General Ledger Accountants with three to five years’ experience and Senior Accountants with experience in sales & marketing are in strong demand.
Financial Planning and Analysis Managers – These professionals are in demand as accurate budgets and forecasts are needed to support business decisions.
Product Auditors – Stricter regulations are being imposed on internal audit and the control of foreign banks, so most banks will hire Product Auditors to enhance their business performance and minimise risk.
Treasury Managers – Many import and export firms are facing increasingly complex challenges that require them to deal with foreign exchange, bank loans and trade finance. Treasury Managers act to solve these issues for companies.
Finance Directors – These professionals are essential for almost all types of organisation and employers will either hire a replacement or create a new Finance Director position when their business is expanding.
Tax Accountants/Managers – Tax policies often change and need to be interpreted by professionals. Most multinational companies will hire tax specialists to communicate with the tax bureau in order to minimise tax risk and reduce unnecessary tax payments.
Financial Analysts – Business Finance candidates with strong communication and financial analysis skills are sought after. Candidates with professional qualifications such as the CPA or ACCA are still highly valued. Employers need analysts who can understand the numbers and how they impact their business.
A selection of skills in demand from the Hays Quarterly Hotspots in Banking for April to June 2014 follows:
TB Sales Managers – Since China is moving towards a fully market-based system of interest rates, foreign banks can no longer earn large profits by only focusing on the interest rate differentials and will rely more on their transaction banking business. As a result, qualified TB Sales Managers will be in high demand.
Cash Product Managers – As more Chinese companies are starting overseas businesses there is an increasing demand for services from foreign banks that have advanced technology and a large number of overseas branches and sub branches. They can provide global account management, cash pooling and other related cash management products which can be of great benefit to Chinese companies. These kinds of products rely heavily on the banking cash system, so experienced Cash Product Managers will continue to be in high demand.
Compliance specialists – An increasing number of foreign banks are upgrading their operations to branch level. During this process banks need to communicate with local regulatory authorities such as PBOC, CBRC and SAFE. It is important for them to maintain a good relationship with these authorities and apply for related licenses. Local Chinese who can speak fluent English and maintain these relationships are in high demand.
Local Corporate Relationship Managers – Qualified RMs who mainly focus on local corporate clients are always in high demand. Employers always want to hire RMs who have an existing client portfolio and can develop new business. Candidates are required to have a good command of overall banking products such as syndication loans, trade finance and cash, as well as good English communication skills.
Cross-border M&A specialists – China has become one of the world’s most active countries involved in international mergers & acquisitions. This M&A activity is mainly focused on energy and natural resources. Due to there being many opportunities abroad, Chinese companies (SOE and POE) are eager to hire qualified candidates with extensive experience in cross–border M&A.
Corporate Banking Relationship Manager – Relationship Managers in the corporate banking sector continue to be in high demand as most foreign banks are still in their growth phase and looking to generate new client accounts.
Transaction Banking Salespersons – Unlike businesses that generate income from interest, fee generating businesses such as transaction banking (trade finance and cash management) are favoured by many foreign banks as they are risk free. Transaction banking also fully utilises the extensive overseas networks of foreign banks.
Credit Analysts – Banks are recruiting Credit Analysts to help ease the credit writing workload of Relationship Managers, allowing them to be more focused on developing new business opportunities. Credit Analysts are also in demand because banks are implementing new credit control measures and need to establish a strong first line of defence against potential risks in their lending businesses.
Fund Administrators – There has been strong growth in this area as operations are being moved away from Hong Kong. Since this is a newly developed operational area for most foreign banks in China, we expect to see strong demand for these professionals.
Process Improvement specialists – Banks are adapting to the ‘Six Sigma’ control standards used by the manufacturing industry to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction is achieved. Operational improvement roles are required to address a bank’s operational efficiency and the overall consistency of its customer satisfaction levels.
For the full list of skills in demand, please view our Hays Quarterly Hotspots.
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Hays is the leading global specialist recruiting group. It is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide.
Hays Specialist Recruitment (Shanghai) Co., Limited ("Hays China") operates across the public and private sector, dealing in permanent positions. Hays China’s eighteen specialisms span Accountancy & Finance, Banking, Architecture, Construction, Education, Engineering, Executive, Finance Technology, Human Resources, Hays Resource Management, Information Technology, Insurance, Life Sciences, Manufacturing & Operations, Oil & Gas, Property and Sales & Marketing.
Hays China operates four local offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Guangzhou. It is the local representative office for Hays plc, which is a global company. As at 31 December 2013 we employed 7,979 staff.from 240 offices in 33 countries across 20 specialisms.
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