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Equity researchers are on the rise

Foreign firms in Tokyo are beginning to increase their equity research hiring. And though much of the current activity is for replacements or upgrades, recruiters are hopeful that some serious expansion might be just around the corner.

“Our clients are presently predominantly looking for experienced analysts, but we expect interest to increase quite dramatically, at all levels, once 2011’s hiring budgets have been approved,” says Lionel Kaidatzis, operations director for Morgan McKinley Tokyo.

Mika Nomura, business director at Hays Banking, says she is seeing increasing demand for bilingual (Japanese and English) junior-level hires with two or three years’ experience.

“Foreign banks cut a lot of positions over the last few years and are now beginning to rebuild from the bottom up,” says Nomura.

But she adds that it isn’t easy sourcing the kind of candidates foreign firms are after. So where are banks finding their talent?

“Junior candidates can come from a wider background, in particular M&A and PE analysts, though some houses are also open to trilingual juniors [Japanese, English and Mandarin] who have valuations experience. Experienced candidates are almost all sourced directly through competitor firms – both domestic and foreign,” says Kaidatzis.

At present, he adds, it’s machinery and finance analysts who are particularly high in demand. And that means they have some extra leverage for negotiation when it comes to compensation.

Firms that have been or are planning to expand their equity research in Tokyo, according to a recent Bloomberg report, include BNP Paribas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank.

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