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Mid-Career Compensation & Benefits Leaders Meet to Discuss the Current State of the Compensation & Benefits Professional Career Path

Hosted by: Standard Chartered Bank

Some of the region’s highest potential mid and senior-level talent met for an afternoon of discussions at Standard Chartered Bank to debate the latest APAC Compensation & Benefits trends. Representatives from companies including Visa, Standard Chartered Bank, JP Morgan, Dell, Nokia, Alstom, Barclays Capital and many others were in attendance. The group engaged in a lively discussion on areas including hot locations in the region for C&B activity, package formulation, mobility and the C&B profession itself. Interesting observations from the discussion included the following :

  1. Movement between companies has slowed down in Singapore and Hong Kong in 2011 in comparison to 2010, especially in the banking sector. Nowadays C&B professionals are more involved about helping to craft packages to retain talent, rather than to attract talent.
  2. Many financial services organisations increased the fixed component of their packages and have reduced the bonus component in 2010 and 2011. A mindset adjustment was needed in many of these organisations to deal with this change, and the widespread attrition which had been expected did not eventuate. This is possibly due to the market in 2011, where there were fewer opportunities in the market, and where talent chose to stay put rather than move unnecessarily.
  3. Salaries continue to grow in tight markets like China and India, but also in mature markets like Japan and Australia. Companies are having to be creative when moving talent into China, particularly from HK and Singapore, as the higher tax rates are making the market less competitive.
  4. There was a general consensus amongst participants that most companies were moving away from expatriate packages in the region. Attractive local packages or “local plus” packages were being preferred. There seems to confusion on what “local plus” means from company to company. Some participants reported tailorisation with local packages to meet individual needs, however in this situation the overall total cost of compensation was still being taken into account (especially with reference to merit increases or the size of bonus payments).
  5. We talked on the C&B profession and how it is being viewed in the APAC community, especially in light of a growing shortage of talent in APAC. Most participants agreed that C&B is a low-visibility career option for university graduates. Even within the HR ranks, it is undersold, said many. Creative avenues for attracting good C&B talent were looking at analytical folks from consulting and accounting, as well as generalists or other specialists who demonstrated a fondness for numbers. Inter-regional movement of high potential C&B talent from country to regional roles was also a popular option. ​


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Key Contributors:

Matthew Chapman
Matthew Chapman


Global Management
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Matthew Chapman
Global Management

Matthew Chapman


Matthew (Matt) Chapman is the Founder of ChapmanCG.

He has also created the Thrive HR Exchange, a global community platform for people leaders and HR professionals to find and exchange inspiration, ideas and insights. Discover some of his interviews with HR leaders here.

Matt has a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Business Law from the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is a Singapore Citizen and divides his time between Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA.

Matt is a wellness, self-improvement and fitness addict. He has completed six desert, 250km ultra-marathons in Chile, China, Egypt, Antarctica, Namibia and Madagascar.

EA Registration Number: R1111550 Licence Number: 08S3543