Oz banks need risk specialists

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Calling all risk management professionals Down Under! Several firms are now looking to tap Australia's limited talent pool for experts to help manage their increased risk profile.

"Australian companies are looking for very experienced people in risk analysis, quantitative analytics, law, accounting and compliance," says Michael Markiewicz, chief executive officer of Carmichael Fisher recruiters in Sydney.

"They're all entrepreneurial companies that have had success and, with that, an increased exposure to risk. The problem is, there just aren't enough professionals to fill the jobs. Banks are falling over themselves to hire the right people."

Top risk management experts in Australia can expect to earn a base salary of AU$200k to AU$300k and the same again in bonus.

"Even though risk management is not a profit centre, banks are paying significant bonuses because they recognise how important the function is to their business," Markiewicz adds.

Who's hiring? Recruiters point to the likes of Macquarie Bank, Allco Finance Group and investment advisory firm Babcock & Brown.

Another recruitment specialist in Sydney comments that Australia suffers a brain drain in risk management experts because so many people opt to live overseas.

"There's more than a million Australians living overseas, a third of which are in London," he says. "Banks and law firms love Australians because they adapt so easily and are generally a little cheaper to hire. The situation is not going to be made any easier now that Australian lawyers are eligible to qualify in the US. It means yet more competition for the small talent pool."