Ramping up the regulator

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Fancy working for the financial services industry's whip-cracking regulatory body?

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is hot news right now after it filed civil penalty proceedings in the federal court against Citigroup for alleged insider trading. The Oz regulator employs 1,471 full-time staff (or their equivalent), and after cutting staff in recent years, it is preparing to add again in 2007.

The number of additions that's on the cards isn't 100% clear, but Amanda Dixon, ASIC director of human resources, says it's recruiting across all fields, from IT and finance to the more enticing areas of analysis and investigation. Favoured backgrounds include law and accountancy, audit, and intelligence and policing.

ASIC employees are generally employed under a Certified Agreement (CA) which guarantees salary and conditions. CA salary levels begin at AU$34k and move through four bands to a maximum of $68k, at which point staff enter 'executive' ranks which pay a minimum of $76k and a top rate of $102k.

Pay isn't quite on a par with banking, and Dixon says the organisation is more than aware that it can't compete with all areas of the private sector. But while ASIC can't pay big dollars, it can offer the pursuit of fairness, detective thrills, and the satisfaction of prosecuting villains.

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