And before anyone asks, no, the man with the headgear is not a refugee banker, he's actually Archbishop Nicholas Chia.
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They are refugee bankers
Professionals seek to swap Wall Street for Shenton Way
Monday • November 3, 2008
LOST your job at Lehman Brothers? Turfed out in London’s financial crisis? You could always try for a job in Singapore.
And, recruitment firms and headhunters report, this is just what an increasing number of one-time high-flyers from Wall Street and the City of London are thinking.
They say they are seeing a huge rise in the numbers of banking and finance professionals from the United States, Europe and Australia sending in their details — in the hope of getting work here or elsewhere in Asia.
Mr Tim Hird, managing director of Robert Half Singapore, which specialises in recruitment for the finance sector, said that over the last six months, the firm has seen a 300-per-cent increase in resumes. The numbers shot up after the firm launched a website last month dedicated to facilitating recruitment from overseas.
“The Wall Street crisis has definitely attracted more financial professionals from the US to Singapore and Asia,” he said. “In fact, the current economic crisis presents an opportunity for both recruiters and job seekers.”
Companies here are taking this opportunity to recruit financial talent that has been laid off, while candidates are more willing to accept job opportunities that open up to them, he said.
One example is given by blogger Mr Wang, who claims to work in the banking sector. He wrote on his website last month about interviewing a lawyer who worked at the now-collapsed Lehman Brothers investment bank.
“The candidate has seven years of working experience more than me. That makes him very senior. His stated expected salary, however, was quite low (lower than mine). I sensed a little desperation. He’s very eager to grab his wife and kids and get out of London (now populated with unemployed ex-bank employees) and come out to Asia as soon as possible,” Mr Wang wrote.
Ms Andrea Ross, director of recruitment firm Robert Walters Singapore, said that resumes have been flowing in from the UK over the last few months — from candidates who have already been retrenched and from people who fear that they might be.
“We are not seeing as many CVs coming from the US, possibly due to them having to pay taxes both in the US and Singapore. Hence, it does not necessarily work out to be that cost-effective for them as it is for someone coming out from the UK,” she added.