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I want 10 equity sales traders, and I want them now

HK trading volumes are exploding, and so is demand for equity sales traders.

"I am involved in a deal right now involving 10 cash equity traders," says Matthew Hoyle, of search firm Matthew Hoyle International in Hong Kong.

Hoyle, who recently set up shop in Hong Kong after rolling out offices in Europe, says talent for equity trading positions in the territory is very scarce.

Apart from the sales desks of major banks, the other principal category of recruiters is broker dealers like CLSA - where pay has become considerably more attractive. "Broker dealers pay far more because they often pay as a profit share. So you could get 30% of whatever commissions you earn for the bank. Say you make US$5m in commissions, you have made an awful lot of money by the end of the year."

Banks would typically pay a much higher basic salary and a discretionary bonus. A director making US$200k basic might make another US$200k to US$700k in bonus.

As a result, there seems to be a growing trend for successful sales traders to move from banks to broker dealers where the pay is more attractive.

"They really have nothing to lose," says Hoyle.

But to make the transfer to a broker dealer, stresses Hoyle, you need transferable client relationships.

And when bank traders do make the jump, banks often have no choice but to replace them internally by relocating successful sales traders from Europe to Hong Kong. However, new European recruits rarely actually own the client relationship and it can take them a year or two to get up to speed.

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  • Sa
    Samarth Sharma
    27 June 2007

    Hi I am In India in Lotus India Mutual fund in sales division of Private client group.I want to get into Equity sales trading .pls help me how i go about it..i am a Commerce graduate

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