It's created grim consequences for many bankers, but ironically the credit squeeze is proving a boon for quality credit analysts, says a Sydney-based recruiter.
Patrick Everest, partner at Jon Michel Executive Search, says credit risk professionals are now in higher demand than at any time over the last 12 to 18 months. "Both the institutional teams at the domestic banks as well as the global investment banks are looking for talent," he reports.
Typically, credit analysts determine whether a bank lends money to a client directly or runs counterparty with another institution on financial transactions. "They are specialists who assist in making the decision about whether to commit the bank's balance sheet to transactions," explains Everest.
It might be raining jobs for credit analysts, but Everest says the supply and quality of candidates far from matches client demand: "This seems to have been driven by less hiring in this space over the past 12 to 18 months, so everyone is now playing catch up."
As a result, quality analysts can earn decent coin.
Darren Terkel, from recruiter Michael Page International, reports that pay for junior credit analysts with one to three years' experience ranges from AU$72k to AU$105k (plus discretionary bonus): "A senior with three to seven years' earns AU$105k to AU$145k, while an associate director (eight-plus years') gets AU$145k+," he adds.
At the top of the heap, Terkel says a director can earn AU$220k+, with bonuses of anything from 10% to 50%.
To break into credit, Terkel says, "Candidates need strong technical skills and experience working on large and complex deals, as well as good product knowledge."