Hitting the beach in Oz may clobber your career

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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."

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