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Here come the custody jobs

But don’t expect to make a mint if you pick one up.

Global custody giant Northern Trust Corp is reputedly heading for Melbourne – and hiring. It’s good news if you fancy becoming a custodian… but bear in mind that pay in custody falls well short of pay in investment banking.

How short? Well, the 2007 salary survey from recruiter Hays Banking Australia suggests custody specialists such as fund accountants, with three to five years’ experience, take home AU$80k in Sydney. In Melbourne it’s more like AU$85k, while Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane specialists take home roughly AU$10k less.

Start in custody without a degree and you’ll get even less – try AU$40k says Mary Grant, principle consultant in recruitment firm Hudson’s banking and finance division. “Graduates with economics or business degrees, can earn between AU$50k to AU$60k a year,” she adds.

By comparison, investment bankers are likely to be on AU$90k to AU$100k at the same level.

Custodians spend their time on administrative tasks like totting up the amount of money a fund has made through dividends. “Don’t make the mistake, therefore, of thinking that a role in custody is a green light to a career in investment banking: “If you want a job in an investment bank, start in investment banking,” says Mary Grant, principal consultant on recruitment firm Hudson’s banking and finance team. “If you want a career in custody, start in custody.”

Still, there is scope to earn a decent living once you have more experience. “The senior end provides work that involves consulting to corporates and you can get paid big dollars for that, but you would need to progress though the ranks first,” says Matthew Gowan. He adds that senior custodians can earn AU$100k, and that company-wide – rather than individual – performance-related bonuses may well apply.

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