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Equity slump hits hiring

Hiring freezes, shrinking bonuses and ailing equity markets? It’s a tough time to be in equity sales or trading in Tokyo.

Massive falls in the benchmark Nikkei N225 (Reuters), coupled with global cost cutting, have taken their toll on banking sector hiring.

Jeremy Sanderson, CEO at Icon Partners, says hiring levels in equity derivative sales, cash sales and sales trading in Japan “have decreased significantly, due to the strict headcount and hiring freezes across the board”. Bonuses are also suffering: “Compensation levels have remained similar, but guaranteed bonuses are harder to come by,” Sanderson adds.

Hays’ 2008 Salary Survey, compiled in late 2007, gives total compensation ranges for financial markets traders as 11m-22m for a junior trader, 18m-44m for a trader, 33m+ for a senior trader, and 100m+ for a head of financial markets. The survey also gives compensation ranges of 20m-30m+ for financial sales staff and 25m-50m+ for experienced financial sales staff.

Candidates, however, should be realistic about those figures in the current environment, says Hays’ Guy Howard.

“For good traders, the majority of their compensation is paid in bonuses, so generally people are expecting to earn much less this year. People are not betting their mortgages on bonuses,” he adds.

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