Miners prospect for financial talent

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As if there wasn't already enough competition for professionals with corporate or project finance experience, mining companies are now digging deep to hire financial talent.

At least that's the experience in Perth, Western Australia, at the moment, where the global resources boom remains in full swing and demand for banking and finance specialists is strengthening from gold and other base metal mining companies.

"We're finding that, because of the mining boom, a lot of financial services people are going off to mining companies rather than staying in the banking sector," says Talent2 senior consultant Carole Doig.

"There's a lot of private equity demand from junior mining companies, and finance skills are very transferable for experienced individuals able to assist in project and corporate finance."

Doig says there is some general movement within the banking sector itself, but concedes there is a major supply and demand issue when even relatively junior finance specialists can command attractive packages in the mining sector.

"There's a huge demand here - we could use more people from the eastern states but it's hard getting them to move over."

Pierre-Henry Theus, senior consultant for Tanner Menzies, notes that while Perth is a 'tier-two city' in terms of banking and finance compared with Sydney and Melbourne, the demand for quality candidates is high.

"Everybody needs the same types of people, so demand is great and there is limited supply," Theus says. "The salaries on offer are at the same levels as in the eastern states - sometimes higher - but it's still hard finding quality candidates."

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