Property boom builds recruitment momentum

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In Australia's burgeoning real estate sector, talented professionals with financial experience and investment banking backgrounds are definitely hot property right now.

A spate of large-scale transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and other deals by investment banks and listed and unlisted property trusts, are fuelling the demand for property finance specialists.

Macquarie Bank has been actively recruiting to fill positions within its growing property industry group, seeking out individuals with good contacts to work on equity raisings, advisory and other capital markets deals.

"As consultants, we have demand from Macquarie both in their funds group and their banking group for property people, depending on what the role is going to be and the skill set needed to fill that," says Lee Humphrey, principal of the investment management practice at Derwent Executive.

"Property is by far and away running the hottest, and to find quality people the demand is outstripping supply."

Sarah Madeley, principal consultant at Charterhouse Partnership, agrees that demand across the property sector remains strong.

"There have been a lot of acquisitions and significant transactions in the property sector, and demand is very strong for people that have good analytical and commercial skills," she says.

Humphrey notes that suitably qualified people are "as rare as hen's teeth".

He says over recent months there has been a "decimation of good people in Australia", who have been drawn to London to take advantage of growth opportunities in Europe.

"Colonial First State and other players sent some of their best property people to London to take advantage of these bigger global trends, and what that's done is drain more resources out of Australia."