Want a fund management job? Head to Australia

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If you’re looking for a new job in fund management, you might want to send your resume to Australia. As funds in the country expand, they are clamouring for international talent.

Investments in Australia’s fund management industry hit A$2.03 trillion at 31 December 2012 – an increase of 3% from three months earlier – cementing the sector as the fourth largest in the world, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Madeleine MacMahon, human resources director of AMP Capital, an Australian investment house with more than A$128 billion in funds under management, said she was regularly receiving CVs from foreign nationals, particularly those based in London and Hong Kong. “Their experience at global fund managers is often highly transferrable to Australia, particularly at AMP because we’re expanding our investment capabilities to invest globally,” said MacMahon.

The growth of fund management in Australia is largely fuelled by investments from a compulsory retirement-saving programme called superannuation. Under new rules, the size of employers’ superannuation contributions is set to gradually increase to 12% of salary by 2019, up from the current 9.25%.

Jobs in demand

“This additional cash flow from superannuation means a number of funds are reaching investment capacity, so there is demand for researchers and fund construction specialists to build new products,” said Russell Thomas, CEO and managing director of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia.

Mathew McGilton, director of Kaizen Recruitment in Melbourne, said he had seen a recent increase in recruitment of analysts and portfolio managers.

Expertise is sectors such as property or Asian markets is particularly attractive, said MacMahon from AMP. “Although local experience is preferred for some roles, strong investment skills are quite transferrable across different countries,” she said.

Funds in Australia are also hiring compliance professionals to cope with new domestic and international regulations, including FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, an American law which requires disclosure of US assets in foreign accounts, said Ashton Bilbie, a director at search firm Profusion Group in Sydney.

Before applying for jobs, foreign candidates should obtain a Skilled Independent Visa, which allows them to work in Australia without an employer sponsoring their work visa. “In fund management, people with full working entitlements are often very easy to assist, particularly those coming from large markets such as the UK or elsewhere in Europe,” said Andrew Hanson, director of financial services at recruitment agency Robert Walters in Sydney.

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