Derivatives jobs on a downer

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The financial crisis and the prospect of a regulatory crackdown mean derivatives jobs are in short supply in Australia.

Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors, expects the derivatives market to soon be subjected to increased government regulation. "This will have an impact on job opportunities in the financial sector," he adds.

Derivatives traders are feeling the pinch of relatively weak balance sheets, says John Coles, CEO, Executive Group International. Employment alternatives elsewhere appear limited. "Sometimes you'll get a derivatives or equities trader moving to a dealing desk. But there's not a huge demand for dealers, either," adds Coles.

Luke Heath, chief executive of Chandler Heath Executive Recruitment, says structured product specialists aren't sought after, either. "There are headcount freezes everywhere and employers are looking for the absolute superstars. But because the retail market for structured products has diminished throughout the region, the demand for structured derivatives price-makers and salespeople has also diminished."

AMP's Oliver warns that if new regulation comes in too fast, the result could be a slower economic recovery. "We need people to take risks going forward to emerge from this economic downswing," he says.

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