Where in the world to work if you want to remain attractive to financial services employers in 2020

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If you want to be desirable to a financial services employer by 2020, you’d be advised to seize the opportunity to work in a foreign country for a short period of time where there’s a shortage of talent locally, and where your employer is predicting an uptick in business.

Financial services employers are responding to demands from employees wanting to work in foreign climes, but are also taking a more structured approach to sending their staff overseas. Gone are the days of hardship postings for bankers in the twilight of their careers, replaced instead by a “new emphasis on shorter, more targeted, purpose-based assignments”, according to new research from PwC. In fact, it says, the average number of ‘mobile employees’ will increase by 50% over the next decade.

So, where should you be looking to relocate? For the time being, fast-growing markets in South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East remain the most desirable to financial services employees, it says. However, a focus on localisation in places like Singapore, Qatar and the UAE has made it more difficult for expat financial services professionals to hold on to their jobs in these locations, even within the international firms. What’s more, firms in Africa tend to favour either local candidates or ‘returnees’ with valuable experience in Western markets.

Instead, suggests PwC, financial services professionals should push for assignments in China, India, Russia, Brazil, Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia.

F. William McNabb, chairman, president and CEO of fund manager Vanguard, said: “I think people will have to be more global in their perspective. They will have to understand the interconnectedness around the world. That’s going to be a very important element.”

Nonetheless, currently, it’s the developed economies that are proving popular with graduates, according to PwC’s research:


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