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Asset management hiring is no longer so awful

Six months ago hiring activity in asset management was flat, but the message from recruiters was positive: they said they were optimistic that 2010 would see things picking up.

It looks like they were right.

Paul Guevara, a senior consultant at recruitment firm Boyd and Moore, says a number of global multi-strategy funds have recognised the current wealth of potential alpha opportunities in the Japanese economy.

Given many of these funds are either underweight in Japan or don’t have any exposure to Japanese markets, he says they will need (and want) to add headcount to take advantage of those opportunities.

“Generally speaking, these are the kinds of funds that will be in a position to add Japanese market specialists to their off-shore operations in Asia, while some are even considering starting smaller research offices locally in Tokyo,” says Guevara.

So what kind of talent is in demand?

Guevara is beginning to receive a lot of inquiries for buy-side people at the experienced analyst level, but – even though still few and far between – there are also a few asset management firms who are starting to consider hiring portfolio managers.

Soh Ohno, a consultant at Hays Banking, says he has seen activity on the sell side, too. But he adds that clients are still being quite picky about the candidates they will consider.

In any field, he says firms are more interested in bilingual candidates, as well as candidates who don’t have too many job changes on their resumes.

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