Keeping the big fish in your pond

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No doubt there is a fight for fund management talent in Australia. Firms are offering increased salaries, and now equity, as means to retain the scarce resource.

Hunter Hall International is a good example of this trend. The fund manager has introduced an equity plan, which could see the portfolio managers emerge with more than 10% of the company, reports. The company is also looking to introduce a profit share plan.

The plan as outlined by Hunter Hill International is subject to shareholder approval.

We recently reported that ABN AMRO's Australian staff will likely acquire up to 25% of the local operations. US banks Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns also have employees who own a large proportion of the equity in the firm. In Australia, employees at Babcock & Brown own about 50% of the company's shares.

With increased competition for top talent in the funds management arena, and the boutique funds managers delivering solid results, there is likely to be more equity plans put into place.

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