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Asset management hiring remains flat

Funds appear to be showing signs of recovery, but is demand for asset managers following suit?

Paul Guevara, an equities recruitment consultant at Boyd & Moore Executive Search, says fund performance has improved across the board from the start of the year, but most asset management firms still need to attract new investment before they will be in a position to add large numbers of staff.

“With the exception of some junior and mid-level headcounts, overall asset management hiring remains sparse,” says Guevara.

Guy Howard, a manager at Hays Banking, says hiring across asset management is generally slow, but there has been a slight improvement of late that he expects will continue in the new year.

Yet while there are signs for cautious optimism, a major surge in asset management hiring looks unlikely for the time being.

“We don’t anticipate such significant investor inflows within the near-term, especially in Japan, and thus we don’t expect to see much in the way of expansive hiring exercises until late 2010, at the earliest,” adds Guevara.

At that point, Guevara expects to see business from some of the more established mutual funds, as well from global FICC focused funds that are increasingly looking to Asia for higher returns.

But out-of-work asset managers probably shouldn’t get too excited about that. Howard says there is always a preference for firms to take on people still in work. “People still working in roles similar to those being hired for will be the ones in demand.”

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