Someone's looking for 50 credit specialists

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Predictably, it's not an investment bank. The company doing all the hiring is Markit, the information services provider. According to its head of HR, it is currently looking to hire 40-50 people in Europe, plus another 30 in the US and additional staff in Asia Pac between now and the end of the year.

Markit is a rare example of a credit-focused business for which the credit crunch has been a gift from the gods. Formed in 2001 as an independent source of credit derivatives pricing information, the company is a leading light in the world of indices used to help price increasingly illiquid credit products. More recently, it has branched out into indexing municipal bond CDS, and economic research.

A quick glance at Markit's website suggests most of the jobs it's offering are in fact for developers. However, Hill says they're hiring across the board: "We're looking for developers, salespeople and product specialists. We're rapidly expanding our existing product lines as well as introducing new products and expanding our client base, which means we need people with a broad range of skill sets."

What about redundant ABS originators and structured credit structurers from investment banks? Maybe, says Hill. "We have needs in both our sales and structured products businesses so we may consider individuals with these skill sets," he says.

As might be expected, bonuses at Markit are likely to be slimmer than in investment banks. But Hill says there are compensatory factors: "We may pay less in cash than investment banks, but all our employees are eligible for equity in Markit, which currently has significant upside. Seventy per cent of the company is owned by corporate shareholders and the remaining 30% is owned by our employees."

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