Funds look for good connections

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If you're seeking a role in the Australian fund management sector, it may be worthwhile taking your contact book to the interview.

That's the official word from some recruiters, especially given the strong push by Australian funds to target actively business opportunities offshore, by drawing in overseas investment capital.

Fund managers such as Challenger Financial Services, Portfolio Partners, Treasury Group and Perennial Partners have made no secret of the fact they want investors from the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. To reach that target, business development will play a vital role.

Christine Khor, founding director of recruitment firm Market Partners, says funds will effectively be looking for people with good contacts, who can hit the ground running.

"I would say from a general recruitment perspective, whether you're talking business development sales or whether you're talking marketing, everybody is looking for people who know people and have a good reputation," Khor says. "People have an advantage if they can bring a Rolodex and their list of email contacts - it's all about proven performance."

John Bell, of Profusion Financial Services, says his firm has a number of business development manager roles open in the funds management sector.

"At the start of every year, activity increases slightly in terms of new hirings. No-one has specifically asked us to look for people who have overseas contacts, but that would be a valuable asset - to have access to a good database of contacts. It's logical that funds would want to use any offshore contacts they have to target business outside of Australia."

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