For regional roles, 33% said it was extremely difficult and another 33% called it difficult.
Mr. Chow said just over one-third of respondents reported moving some or all of their regional or global posts from Hong Kong to other offices. And while only 13% of the firms surveyed said they have reduced their headcount in Hong Kong, 55% said they have been adding head counts in their other offices in the region.
Mr. Chow declined to identify the money management firms that participated in the survey but said respondents included a number of global managers.
Other survey results show money managers finding it increasingly difficult to hire expats — as opposed to native Hong Kongers or mainland Chinese. More than 40% of respondents said it is extremely difficult to hire expats, even with close to 20% of the firms surveyed offering hardship allowances to attract overseas talent. Only 9% of respondents said that it’s extremely difficult to hire professionals from Hong Kong or mainland China.
Mr. Chow and Sally Wong, CEO of HKIFA, said even with shortened quarantine requirements, Hong Kong remains at a disadvantage in accessing the diverse global talent pool that is the lifeblood of international financial centers.
One thing that “screams out” from the survey, said Mr. Chow, is the finding that 97% of respondents cite reconnecting with the rest of the world as the top priority for HKIFA members.
However, both executives, while expressing concern that some of the losses of global and regional professionals to competing financial centers such as Singapore could prove permanent, said they remain confident that once all quarantine restrictions are lifted, Hong Kong’s underlying strengths as a financial center will allow it to bounce back quickly.