Headhunters in hot pursuit of FX professionals

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FX professionals are popular. With most banks making good money trading FX for the past few quarters, they're getting calls from headhunters. But there are more calls than jobs.

"I've spoken to people who say I'm the third or fourth person to call them about a particular position," says one FX headhunter. "Most of the other calls have been from contingency recruiters fishing for candidates."

Credit Suisse is said to be looking to build its FX platform. So is RBS. Canadian banks like

CIBC and RBC are also understood to be hiring, as are Japanese houses like Daiwa, Nomura and Tokyo Mitsubishi.

However, the established FX players are dragging their feet, and even making redundancies in the business. "Banks are making record revenues, but I haven't seen a big build up in FX teams," says Alex Tracey at Clifden Partners.

Peter Harwood, a partner at Principal Search, says FX hiring has definitely picked up in the past weeks, but that the level of activity is exaggerated by the number of headhunters covering the sector. "There are a lot of headhunters who are trying to drum up business aggressively without formal mandates. That's creating a lot of noise in the market."

Despite this, Harwood says the right FX candidates can still command sizeable guarantees lasting 12-24 months.