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Falling hiring in fixed income

With hiring levels down and bonuses expected to shrink, it seems fixed-income roles in Tokyo are feeling the heat of the financial crisis.

James Incles, managing director at Morgan McKinley Tokyo, says there has been a reduced appetite to hire bond traders in Tokyo, due to continued turmoil in global financial markets.

Abhi Kumar, an associate at People Services International, adds: “Since the current crisis was largely caused by a lack of risk and credit control in fixed-income products, in my opinion fixed-income hiring levels across the board in Tokyo have suffered more than equities’.”

Sam Griffiths, manager of financial services sales at Robert Walters Japan, says many of his big banking clients have trimmed back their fixed-income headcounts, but adds that some firms are open to opportunistic hires. These firms aren’t keen on juniors – they only want “experienced people who can come in and get on with the job”.

Incles says with bonuses getting smaller, candidates are becoming more flexible about the types of roles they want. “Many realise they will not achieve a similar bonus to what they received in the past couple of years and so they are less focused on compensation and more on the organisation, the range of innovative products it offers to the market, training and development, and so on,” he says.

Not everything is doom and gloom, however, adds Incles. “While demand for candidates within structured products has significantly reduced, other areas have not been as affected. For example, there has been a renewed market interest in non-yen flow sales and therefore demand for candidates within this area is steady.”

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