December 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

Sydney hosts several of Australia’s largest banking and wealth management institutions, being the largest financial services employment centre in Australia. Over the past decade the footprint of global investment banks in Sydney has shrunk slightly due to the high Australian dollar and high CBD rentals, however many firms recognise the importance of a presence in Australia and choose Sydney as the obvious location. As the AUD rebalances over the next decade we expect to see several investment banks again increase local hiring with client facing positions.

Many of the largest financial services employers in Sydney are choosing lower cost locations, with substantial offices across the greater Sydney area. As the population shifts toward the west suburban office locations are attractive to candidates who prefer a work location without a CBD commute and can take advantage of the lower cost housing that western Sydney provides.

Sydney has experienced a year of recruitment growth with widespread confidence across both investment banking and funds management. The Australian equity markets have remained relatively stable and have been on an upward trend recently, which gives our clients hiring confidence across all sectors. The Investment Banking, M&A and corporate advisory space has seen increased corporate activity throughout 2014 and we expect similar confidence in the new year.

December is traditionally a quiet month in Sydney as our clients close off any last remaining deals. The month is punctuated by Christmas lunches and after-work drinks before our clients head out of town for a few weeks. The exceptions to this rule are our sales & trading clients that often trade Asia-Pac markets, where it’s business as usual over the holidays. In December we also start initial conversations with clients to consider post-bonus targeted recruitment strategies for January.

Have you been to The Lemon Tree yet? Located next to Sydney banker favourite Ryan’s Bar, it’s the newest addition to Australia Square serving Southern Italian cuisine. The St. George Openair Cinema begins early January and tickets are on pre-sale now. Be quick as they sell out fast. Consistently popular post-work drink destination Opera Bar has undergone a refurb and is reopening on 11th December. Check it out this week.

On behalf of the whole team atAnton Murray Consulting we wish you a very safe and happy Christmas season and a prosperous new year ahead.

November 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

Wealth Management

Wealth Management is a financial services division that has become an important focus for many of our clients across the region over the last decade. Financial services firms are taking advantage of the burgeoning amount of private wealth available in Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Across Asia there is a huge amount of private wealth being generated as large economies are expanding and populations continue to increase. Hong Kong and Singapore have become stable investment locations and players in Asia-Pacific are keen to capture the large amounts of private wealth being propagated in these rapidly growing Asian countries.

Asia-Pacific leads the world in its number of High-Net-Worth Individuals. These HNWIs grew their wealth at about twice the rate of their counterparts in the rest of the world last year. They are also thinking more innovatively than the globe’s other super wealthy individuals. Over 80% of them expect to be conducting much of their wealth management business digitally over the next five years. This includes mobile applications, social media and video.

In Australia the private wealth industry is focused on targeting a more established High-Net-Worth community, although the landscape within private wealth management has changed over the last ten years with the introduction of self-managed super funds and an increasingly sophisticated client base.

Earlier this year Boston Consulting Group produced a report on the global private wealth industry and, as expected, global private banks have become increasingly focused on Asia-Pacific as a region for growth.

October 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

This month we take a look at Hong Kong, a major player in international financial services and one of our four major recruitment markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Traditionally Hong Kong was an expat outpost focused on Asian trade for global corporates in the region. Over the past two decades Hong Kong SAR [Special Administrative Region] has transformed into a dynamic financial services hub with significant strategic advantage given its close ties with mainland China.

Hong Kong has an ideal location for international firms given its proximity to all markets across Asia-Pacific. The high cost of office rentals in Hong Kong has limited staffing growth in the past and, as a result, financial services firms have gradually moved to lower cost locations outside of Hong Kong’s Central toward Kowloon and also further north toward the border with the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen.

In recent years Hong Kong has shifted from a heavy investment banking Sales & Trading focus to be more geared toward institutional asset management and private wealth service delivery in an attempt to capture booming mainland Chinese wealth.

The political landscape in Hong Kong has featured heavily in the news of late, with thousands of protestors taking to the streets demanding full democracy from mainland China. Not too long ago Amnesty International raised concerns over the “deteriorating state of freedom of expression” and the gradual loss of liberties for residents in Hong Kong SAR. Interestingly Amnesty International also suggested that financial services would be affected if freedom of expression deteriorated more. In such a scenario, traders and analysts might have limited or censored access to economic data.

April 2014 marked the twenty year anniversary of the demolition of the infamous Kowloon Walled City. Since the 15th century Kowloon became well known for its debauchery, illegal housing and crime with the Kowloon Walled City its epicentre. At the time of its destruction in 1994 it was the most densely inhabited place in the world. There is now a park where the city once stood and Kowloon is now home to several investment banking offices, as the migration continues away from the extremely high rents of Central.

If you can’t handle another dull boardroom lunch in the glass towers of Central then try one of these different dining options:
Town just opened on the 10th floor of the Cubus Building at Causeway Bay, and has been dubbed one of the hottest new restaurants to open this autumn.
Isono Eatery & Bar – French, Spanish & Italian dishes to share at 35 Aberdeen Street, Central.
Eighteen Sharp is a new, modern Chinese restaurant at 15 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay.
– Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, a well-known Parisian steakhouse, will soon open at 222 Queen’s Road East.

September 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

Funds Management

Funds Management is an important sector of recruitment focus for Anton Murray Consulting in the Asia Pacific region. From large pension funds, custodians and superannuation funds to boutique asset managers, the funds management industry represents a large portion of the employment market.

During the GFC many fund managers were hit hard due to a significant decline in total Assets-Under-Management. Promisingly, since 2010, global equities have recovered well and this has translated into healthier AUM growth across Asia-Pac. Correspondingly the recruitment market in this sector has gone from strength to strength over the past few years.

Combined with an increase in AUM, the region has seen the consolidation of smaller industry superannuation funds into prominent funds heading toward $100m AUM. Sovereign Wealth Funds have also become major players in the asset management industry across Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. These newly created Asian-headquartered mega-funds have attracted interest from global asset managers keen to capture some of this investment growth.

A PWC report published earlier this year predicts that assets under management in Asia Pacific will reach $16.2 trillion by 2020, and around $101.7 trillion globally. This is compared to $7.7 trillion under management in Asia-Pac in 2012. PWC expect this AUM growth will be driven by pension funds, high-net-worth individuals and sovereign wealth funds. They also forecast Asia Pacific pension fund assets growing by 9.5% per annum, to reach $6.5 trillion by 2020. Consulting firm Oliver Wyman has also produced an interesting insights report into the AUM growth in China. They expect assets under management in China to increase sixfold by 2020 to USD3.9 trillion. Clearly the asset management industry in our part of the world will continue to see healthy growth over the next decade as global players head to Asia seeking to take part in this investment boom.

Upcoming Funds Management Events

The 2014 Fund Management Summit is being held in London on 23rd and 24th September. The Summit aims to provide market knowledge with the help of keynote speakers and affords attendees access to senior decision makers and industry leaders.

The China Investment Forum is taking place on 11th September in Beijing. It is an educational event focused on global investment opportunities for Chinese investors.

The 3rd Annual Borrowers and Investors Forum, Southeast Asia, is on in Singapore on 30th October. It will bring together the Asian fixed income community.

Also in Singapore is the 6th Annual Southeast Asia Institutional Investment Forum. The region’s leaders in wealth funds, pension funds, insurance firms and private banks will come together on 3rd and 4th December.

August 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

Melbourne is our second biggest recruitment market in Australia and the focus for our August newsletter. Melbourne remains a significant Australian hub for corporate activity and boasts a longstanding private wealth community stretching back for generations. Notably for Australian services financial recruitment, two of the Big Four, NAB and ANZ, are headquartered in Melbourne, although over the past decade they have had sizeable operations established in Sydney.

From a private wealth perspective there is a big client advisory community in Melbourne, seeking to tap the High-Net-Worth market. Many of the prominent private wealth businesses in Australia typically have relationship management teams in Melbourne that are larger than their Sydney businesses. Superannuation, as well as asset management, feature prominently in Melbourne. A significant player in this sector is Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, Future Fund, who this month announced that they have reached over $100bn in assets under management. Melbourne is also home to several other industry super funds, most notable of which is the acquisitive Australian Super, now reaching $66bn in assets under management. These large mega funds aside, there is also a raft of other smaller asset managers bridging the divide between private wealth and institutional money management to create a thriving investment community in Victoria.

Peruvian food has made its mark on Melbourne lately with a few new places opening up, one of which is Pastuso. Right in the centre of town at 19 ACDC Lane, Pastuso could be a good place for a more relaxed business lunch. It opened in July and has been well received so far.

Grabbing a bite to eat from food trucks is becoming more trendy and if you don’t mind a bit of casual outdoor eating, then head to Trailer Park this weekend. Don’t worry, the one in July had heated dining areas, so you won’t freeze during the experience.

If you are in Melbourne in October or November you might want to check out Brian Cox and Sir David Attenborough’s live shows. In the ‘90s he was an actual rock star but now he’s a rock star of a totally different kind; Brian Cox engages people around the world with his captivating science programs on topics like astronomy and physics. He’s made science cool again, and he’s in Melbourne this OctoberSir David Attenborough is a nature-loving legend, with over five decades of filmmaking under his belt, and he’s headed to Melbourne in November with a new 3D stage event.

July 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

Investment Banking M&A

In July our newsletter is focused on investment banking, one of our primary recruitment sectors, and one which has seen strong growth in the first half of 2014. The Asia-Pac IBD M&A market is being well supported by perfect Investment Banker playing conditions; markets are stable, corporate valuations are increasing and global debt yield is low. This all encourages firms to focus on acquisitive growth. While senior bankers remain cautiously optimistic, the lean times during the GFC seem like a distant memory for many IBD teams across the region.

According to Reuters, global investment banking fees totalled $47.1bn USD for the first six months of the year which is the highest level we’ve seen since 2007 and nearly a $5bn increase on the same time last year. This is on the back of a big surge in global M&A deal-flow volume up to $1.75tr USD. Asia-Pacific fees increased by 10%, while fees in Europe surged by 29% so far this year.

The Mergers & Acquisitions market in Australia had a strong first half of 2014, with pending & completed M&A deal-flow value reaching $69.5bn USD. If the current trend continues through to calendar year-end this will easily be the busiest M&A year post-GFC. Aussie M&A transactions reached $US52.8 billion by May this year, compared with only $US28.2bn for the same period in 2013. So there was a big ramp up toward the Australian financial year-end.

The Australian M&A league table sees Goldman Sachs leading the group, followed by Macquarie Group and UBS. Notably Citigroup is having a great year, with a move to fourth on the Australian M&A league table. Citi were ranked sixth at the same time last year, and nineteeth in 2011, suggesting key strategic hires within their IBD business have resulted in increased M&A revenue over the past three years.

Announced M&A advisor ranking, Australia:

Upcoming Investment Banking Events

The Asia Investment Banking Conference is taking place in Hong Kong on 4th and 5th September 2014. The AIBC is the largest student-organised conference in Asia and covers topics such as M&A, Asset Management, Emerging Markets and Capital Markets.

The Financial Times and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association are hosting the Private Equity in Emerging Markets 2014 leadership summit for private equity investors on 14th October in London.

Our clients include

* Prior invoiced clients across the region.