Corporate brokers

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There's a new species of beast about to prowl the Australian financial scene and no one really knows how to recognise them.

They are called corporate brokers, and like Australia's first coin-carrying migrants, they come from England.

"I think they're like relationship managers,'' says a slightly bewildered banker.

"All I know is they're nothing like relationship managers,'' says a recruiter, running out the door.

But Oliver Darkes at recruiter Carmichael Fisher is a travelled man and knows a thing or two: "Yes, the big investment banks are building teams of corporate brokers, who are a conduit of information to companies - often small and medium-sized listed companies - about their shares, their marketing and image," he says.

The information corporate brokers channel is the kind of vital stuff that companies don't always have the time or staff to unearth for themselves. In the telling, brokers come to know the companies rather intimately - with the result that they're well placed to intervene and pick up fees when more lucrative M&A-type transactions take place.

Lisa Nader at Command Recruitment says domestic banks are hiring: "They want people with analytical skills - and a really strong portfolio of clients.'' Likely candidates are typically found lurking in M&A, ECM and leveraged finance divisions.

We're told corporate brokers come in herds. Victoria Biggs, a consultant at recruiter Jon Michel, says big investment banks are hunting whole teams - three to six people. These are senior roles, Darkes says, and they pay well: $AU120k to AU$160k for an assistant director, AU$200k plus at director's level, although Biggs says that could be AU$250k with bonuses in the multiples. Sound like a mating call?

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