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Asset management recruitment: Playing the waiting game

Asset management hiring remains quiet in Tokyo, but there is optimism that firms could be about to start making some noise.

Because of strong results from many asset management institutions, Lionel Kaidatzis, managing director at Morgan McKinley, says most of his clients are optimistic about the industry.

“As to how this will translate into hiring in 2011, it is still a little early to tell. Hiring budgets are not finalised, but the sentiment seems to be quite up-beat. In particular we expect there to be reasonable demand for the sales, product development and product management functions,” says Kaidatzis.

This could be especially good news for experienced individuals with emerging markets product knowledge, he adds.

Kevin Naylor, finance team leader at Wall Street Associates, says he is already seeing some demand in sales and client service-based positions, which he believes could indicate a push to increase market share.

“This, however, seems to vary greatly with the business model or style of the firms. Some firms are relying on their conservative image to take business from competitors that are seen as more aggressive and therefore volatile. Others have found this not to be a fast enough way to build business and are shifting to more aggressive sales models,” he says.

Naylor says demand has not yet tricked down to the back and middle office. But if the industry’s optimism is well placed, that could well happen later this year.

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