Asset management opportunities in Melbourne

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Melbourne looks like the place to be if you want to get ahead in asset management.

One of the world's largest asset managers, JPMorgan Asset Management (JPMAM) is opening a new office in Melbourne, a location it describes as a fast-growing hub for fund management firms.

JPMAM's head of institutional business in Australia, Peter Horn, says the Victorian capital's credentials were underlined when the Australian Government established the Future Fund there.

It's not entirely clear how many people JPMAM will hire for its new Melbourne outpost, but local recruiters say it's bound to be good news for Melbourne's asset managers, who are likely to find their skills increasingly sought after.

Luke Heath, managing director of Chandler Heath Executive Recruitment, says bidding wars are a possibility: "Quality asset managers are establishing boutique operations and this... increases competition for talent. The former employer seeks to fill the vacancies and the boutiques also employ new staff."

As funds scramble for talent, the earning potential for asset managers with five years' experience under the belt looks healthy for 2008 and beyond. Heath says, "Depending upon track record, AU$250k plus a 100% bonus is probably the median.