A major European shortage of Asian market language skills is leading to a war for talent amongst some of the major financial institutions and exchanges.
Heidi Collins, manager of the Financial Services Division with Euro London Appointments, said, ‘Many of the candidates with those sorts of language skills, particularly in the asset management sector, tend to be nationals with perfect English as a second language. The level of technical understanding needed within the hedge fund sector for example demands a bilingual speaker at the very least and more often than not a national. For the London market this has meant that the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme — a government scheme that allows migrant workers to live and work in the UK without an employer needing to sponsor a visa — has been vital. Additionally, as many MBA programs now come with an automatic HSMP visa, UK employers are increasingly looking at overseas MBA graduates as a source of new talent.’
So why the feeding frenzy? Heidi Collins said, ‘Asian investors are very sophisticated, and demand not just quality but also effective communication. Speaking to them in their own language therefore, is absolutely vital — not because they can’t speak English — but that they may prefer not to.’
The gradual process of transition of China from a market that focused mainly on attracting foreign investment to one that is also encouraging domestic customers to invest abroad is driving the recent heavy demand for languages such as Mandarin and Cantonese.
Source: Response Source