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The new breed of asset manager

In pursuit of yield, asset management divisions of banks are behaving like hedge funds. They're attracting a new type of banker as a result.

Over the past year, the likes of Deutsche Asset Management (DAM) and Barclays Global Investors have recruited staff almost as quickly as they've increased assets under management.

The asset management (AM) divisions of banks are also bringing a trader's mentality to the space. This is perhaps unsurprising when you consider DAM's Singapore-based Asia head, Ed Peter, was formerly a trader.

"There is a new mindset in asset management," agrees John Jessen, founding partner of headhunters Smith & Jessen. "People are coming from the trading floor, bringing a fresh, creative style to the business. The sense of urgency is showing in their results.

"This is leading to bankers with an entrepreneurial mindset looking to get into asset management from other areas including equities, fixed income and their derivatives. Top-tier banks want people who understand derivatives, so they can offer tailor-made solutions to clients."

Bank AMs are actively looking to recruit talent, both locally and from Australia and Europe.

According to Frank Behrendt, who covers asset management at Smith & Jessen, the pay structure at bank AMs differs significantly from more traditional AMs.

"A traditional AM will pay a salary, with the bonus usually a fraction of that calculated in months," he explains. "For bank AMs the salary may be lower but the bonus will often be a multiple of the salary, so the overall upside may be two times higher, more in some cases."

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  • An
    Anonymous
    10 July 2007

    What is the pre-requisite for a mid career person currently working in un-related field thinking to switch over to Asset Management.

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