Seeking Employment? Try Alternatives not Funds
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an InvestmentWires' Publication
Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Seeking Employment? Try Alternatives not Funds

Demand for mutual fund executives has trailed off this year, reports investment recruitment firm Russell Reynolds. The weakening demand for those with fund industry experience can also seen in falling signing bonus and the relative paucity of multi-year guarantees, added the firm.

Also cold are the technology and operations area and the defined contribution areas, reports the firm.

Those findings do not mean that the entire asset management industry is in the doldrums. "While aggregate recruitment may have declined due to market conditions, the demand for outstanding investment professionals has not abated," said J. Nicholas Hurd, managing director and head of the firm's Investment Management Practice.

The sectors that are hot are alternative management, wealth management, fixed income and buy-side research. In the alternatives space demand for traditional institutional marketing executives is especially strong, said the firm. It attributes the demand to the need for this sector to build awareness with institutional investors.

In wealth management firms are seeking experienced leaders to build their businesses. Especially in demand are asset gatherers in New York, Florida, Chicago, Texas and California.

The demand for help in the affluent market runs in stark contrast to the declined in demand in the retail market. That sector has been hit with "significant attrition" in sales, sales support, marketing and client service. Professionals in the retail sector are also seeing their bonuses cut.

The firm also noted that compensation is slipping in importance for those being recruited and being replaced with quality of life. "Rather than being driven by compensation alone, those professionals are taking positions to gain better overall experience and breadth of responsibility," explained James S. Houston, managing director.

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