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Is the sun slowly rising on Japanese private equity jobs?

As Japan’s private equity (PE) market looks set to expand its share of domestic M&A, recruiters say the country’s sleepy PE jobs market could be about to wake from its slumber
(Financial Times).

Donald Eddy, manager of corporate finance and real estate at Robert Walters, says although hiring has remained selective over the past 12 months, he expects levels to increase in the long run. Atsushi Akaike, a partner at private equity investment firm Advantage Partners, is unsure how quickly or how far the Japanese market will develop, but is confident the number of people working in PE will increase.

When the jobs come, who will be in demand? PE firms usually like to hire candidates with a background in investment banking, says Eddy. “They want someone who has the ability to run the business once the deal is done,” he adds.

Ravshan Kayumov, at Legal Futures, says firms are currently looking for mid-level bilingual talent from top investment banks to fill analyst, associate and AVP roles. Akaike tells us that about half the staff at Advantage Partners have some level of consulting experience, but because the local PE market is still in its early stages they assume nobody will have a PE background when joining the company.

How about comp? Tom Young at recruitment firm People Services International says the market favours employers: “In the current hiring market, clients expect and are getting more for their money – in terms of the quality and fit of candidates’ experience to the specific recruitment needs of clients.”

Kayumov reckons that won’t change as long as there are still many investment bankers in the marketplace with nowhere to go but PE firms.

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