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It’s not so easy getting into asset management

The launch of new joint venture asset management funds in China has been cooling down due to uncertain market conditions. While there are jobs available, vacancy volumes are unspectacular, so candidates need to be well qualified and preferably have overseas experience.

Foreign financial services institutions have been setting up new joint venture fund management firms since 2002 and have made significant inroads into the investment management market.

The industry is now entering into a phase of steady development, but the turbulence of both global and domestic capital markets has brought uncertainty. “Fund raising is becoming increasingly difficult and successful launches of large new funds haven’t been seen for a while as they have struggled to gain investor appetite,” says Alistair Ramsbottom, managing director of The Blacklock Group.

Melissa Xu, a consultant at Orion China, comments: “Comparatively, the management and shareholder structure at JV funds is more complicated, and the lengthy discussion within the JV companies prolongs the process of hiring.”

Recent recruitment has been slow and has focussed on analyst, product management and investment positions. Senior fund management jobs are often filled by internal candidates with a good understanding of the firm’s investment strategy. Asset management firms also take on graduates through campus recruitment drives.

What you need to break into the sector

Ramsbottom says JV funds with Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) products “require applicants to ideally have overseas work experience, with a preference for returnees. For more senior positions, a Master’s degree is necessary and a CFA qualification is increasingly become the entry ticket.”

Good knowledge of financial products is also important in asset management, according to Peter Wang, wealth manager, AXA-Minmetals Assurance. “You need to know the suitability and risk level of different products, especially when you take care of high net worth clients.”

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