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Guarantees jump to the back office

Good news - Asia's booming financial markets are fuelling rising pay and guaranteed bonuses.

Justin Mclennan, Director at Pelham Search Pacific in Hong Kong tells us that in the Asian equity markets, people are moving for a minimum of 30% increase on current packages, and almost all are getting their bonuses guaranteed for their first year. "We are also hearing of two year guarantees being offered to entice the best candidates over. Almost all houses are expanding rapidly in the Asia region," he says.

Andrea Williams, a Director at search firm Ambition in Hong Kong adds that there has also been rapid growth in back office hiring. "For accounting staff - including product control specialists, 20% salary increases have been quite common," she says.

Williams says that sign-on bonuses are usually reserved for front office staff, but notes that sign-ons and guaranteed payments for back office staff are becoming more common although they are not yet the norm.

Firms making or planning to make significant hirings in Asia include Barclays Capital, Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Sungard and Royal Bank of Scotland amongst others.

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