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Hitting the beach in Oz may clobber your career

There’s no shortage of bankers eager to make the move to Australia. But is a move to Oz good for your career?

Plenty of would-be migrants come from the City of London. Recruitment firm Robert Walters recently advertised a number of Australian-based treasury positions in London’s Financial Times and Evening Standard, for example, and received a mass of applications.

David Rolleston, associate director in finance at Robert Walters, says it shows London-based middle and senior managers’ interest in working in offshore markets – particularly in Sydney with its nearby beaches.

How easy is it to make the move? It all depends what you’re doing in London and what you want to do in Oz. Rolleston says it’s easier to migrate if the two are closely matched.

But while a move to Australia may be good for your suntan, it might not be quite so favourable for finances or career progression. Rolleston says it’s wrong to see Australia as a fast track up the financial ladder – it’s harder to reach the highest ranks in Oz, he claims, “Only because we don’t have the size of marketplace in Australia that they do in Europe.”

At the same time, Anthony Ayers, principal consultant at Chandler Heath Executive Recruitment, says the larger financial centres of London, New York and Hong Kong pay bankers better than either Sydney or Melbourne.

“As a consequence, we see more Australian bankers looking offshore rather than offshore bankers aiming to come to Australia,” he says. “The main exception is South Africa. Junior investment bankers from offshore sometimes romanticise the beach lifestyle of Sydney, then find that they are working 80 hours plus and see little of it.”

Comments (2)

  1. I am Australian and have returned from London after nearly 8 years with a global investment bank at Directors level. I have found the market here depressive to say the least..most of the VP/High level senior investment banking jobs are all hubbed out of Singapore. I have found that hiring managers are at best reluctant to hire ex London/NY as they feel some what threatened by globalism and in reality the banks here are such small players.

    My advice to Australians returing and/or people coming for a secondment is step very carefully as Sydney is very expensive – nearly as bad as London, yet your salary will halve and disposable income is much less, with insular projects and mindest.

    Brett Bartlett Reply
  2. The comment by Brett is unfortunately true. Australian banks are shrinking in global terms. the global banks run relatively small businesses from Asian hubs. Having worked on multi-national large transactions means little here to people with a lack of global experience.

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