Marketing Efforts; Only solution to turnaround asset growth

Review of the Hiring Marketplace 2009

In the last two quarters of 2009, IMR finally saw a rebound in the hiring market.  The slash of employees through 2008 and first two quarters of 2009 was mainly due to asset managers responding to falling market returns and fleeing clients. Firms needed to focus on client service and preserving as many assets as possible. There didn’t seem to be much room for selling poor performance. Many senior level investment professionals who were let go as firms slimmed down, found themselves in uncharted territory competing for minimal jobs with decreased salaries.

As some stability slowly returned to the markets, investment companies that survived cautiously began hiring.  Slimmed down teams created increased workload pressure for some and relief was needed, and it became apparent that marketing efforts were the only solution to turnaround asset growth. Some asset managers are still in “lift-out” negotiations with entire teams to broaden investment lineup capabilities and to increase revenues.  Many companies have come to the conclusion that they need to start rebuilding as soon as possible if they want to grow and thrive in 2010.

What’s ahead? For those still searching for employment, they can be sure that the days of high salaries and bonuses are unlikely to return anytime soon. There is too much competition from other senior level professionals willing to work for less, companies just not able to afford such salaries, and firms nervous about scrutiny from regulators over compensation practices.  Teams and individuals are also very cautious of the organizations they join.  Some are now seeing consulting firms shifting away from using performance as a gating factor in favor of the strength of a firm’s balance sheet – at least two years of operating expenses held in cash. Teams and individuals want to join stable solid companies positioned well for the future. Also, investment specialists seem to have the hiring advantage – niche skills are in demand and anyone that can help drive future business strategies, has a strong referral base, and marketing success has an edge.

Times are still a bit uncertain for many investment companies and those unemployed, but 2010 has promise.  I wish everyone future success in their careers and firm growth. Look forward to working with you in the New Year.