Good news for anyone with an interest in hedge funds: hiring is slowly on its way back as funds start to regain their confidence in the market.
Yoshiki Kumazawa, a consultant at Morgan McKinley Tokyo, says the impact of the financial crisis caused many Japanese hedge funds to reduce headcount, with some even closing completely, but they are now starting to re-evaluate their resource requirements and invest in talented new hires.
Although activity ramians slow, Paul Guevara, a senior consultant at Boyd & Moore, adds that he is expecting to see a major uptick in hiring activity by this time next year.
“The hedge fund job market in Japan is still tough – and we are still seeing a few local closures and staff reductions on the street within the last month – but we are also starting to see some signs of life overall,” he says.
Most of the current recruitment activity is from global equity funds with long/short investment strategies, says Kumazawa, which are more attractive to investors in Japan who are looking to limit their exposure to risk. In contrast, there has been a move away from high risk, high return investments such as private equity.
But what kind of talent is in demand? “In particular the funds are looking at the more junior end of the spectrum and for talent with expertise in specific areas, such as modeling and evaluation, so professionals with a background of M&A and principal investment in Japan who can demonstrate these skills are in demand,” adds Kumazawa.