A StrategicRISK study of more than 150 risk professionals across Asia lifts the lid on the kind of money they’re earning

If you’re a risk manager in Asia and being paid less than US$86,000 a year, it might be time to ask your boss for a pay rise. This is the average salary for risk and insurance managers across the region, according to the results of the StrategicRISK

Asia-Pacific annual salary survey, published in association with Parima.

At the other end of the scale, the average salary for chief risk officers (CRO) in Asia is US$187,500.

But risk professionals looking for a pay rise in the next 12 months might find themselves disappointed. Recruiters that StrategicRISK spoke to said they didn’t expect risk salaries to increase by much in the next year. According to Hays research, most employers (56%) in the financial services sector are expecting to increase salaries by less than 3% in the year to come. A further 12% have no plans to offer any increase whatsoever.

“Salaries within the risk space as a whole have reflected that,” says Hays business director Carl Piesse. “A lot of organisations are still very cost- conscious at the moment and they’re doing a lot more around additional benefits, such as flexible working environments.

“That’s becoming more important to candidates as well, and that’s a big appeal for a lot of the large organisations.”

Compliance and Risk Management Recruitment’s associate director David Bakes says the salaries for some risk roles could even go backwards, reflecting an oversupply of candidates.

But in certain sectors, the demand – not to mention remuneration – for quality risk professionals is on the increase. These include superannuation and the wealth sector, financial crime, IT, cyber risk and security.

“There’s a big push in the market for candidates [in these sectors] and all of this tends to raise salaries even more,” Bakes says.

Piesse agrees: “Someone with a strong cyber security risk background is the type of candidate that will be able to demand significant pay increases.”

That’s not to say that salaries for risk professionals outside of those industries are set in stone, however.

“The top 20% of candidates will always defy the medium and they will always command a premium in any market,” Bakes says.

Parima chairman Franck Baron also expects the association’s new certification to help boost salaries in the future.

“There isn’t any country across Asia where [risk management] is seen as a profession. So this is what we are trying to build up now, so that we can be seen like the lawyers, like the accountants and engineers are in the business corporate world,” he said.