Business Today

Wanted: A few good financial wizards

Equity research and investment banking are facing talent crunch.

twitter-logo Manu Kaushik        Print Edition: March 23, 2008

India’s financial services sector may well be growing at a warp speed but financial institutions are encountering problems of inadequate manpower and attrition.

Over the last few months, I-bankers have been finding it tough to get good talent onboard, partly because foreign players have been ramping up their business in the country. Says Sushil Muhnot, MD and CEO, IDBI Capital: “Manpower issues are dogging the financial services sector due to tremendous growth. More players entering the market has led to a huge talent crunch in domains such as equity research, fund managers, and investment banking.”

Fact box

Who’s hiring: DSP Merrill Lynch, Kotak Mahindra Group, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, JM Financial Services among others

Who’re they hiring: MBAs from Tier-I, and Tier-II institutes, BTech with MBAs are also preferred, and CAs

At what levels: At all levels. Junior (Analyst, Associate analysts), middle with three-to-five years of experience (Assistant VP), and senior level

At what salaries: Rs 4-8 lakh p.a. for junior level; Rs 20-30 lakh p.a. plus perks for mid-level; and Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore p.a. plus perks and other benefits for senior level

What are the numbers like: Considering that an average team size of most of the above-mentioned institutions is 30-35, there will be a 50-60 per cent jump in recruitment across levels in the next one year

Another trend which is common in the industry is that of international players poaching talent from domestic companies. Says Kanwardeep Singh, Partner, Vito India, a recruitment firm that focusses on the financial services industry: “Many foreign players who have set up shop (in India) are wooing employees at the domestic firms by offering them incentives like ESOPs and profitsharing.

Then, there are local players who are not only matching the salaries with their foreign counterparts but also offering equity stakes and providing their employees with autonomy and platform to manage a larger chunk of their businesses.”

The crunch is more visible at the middle-level. Explains Singh: “Since 2004, both domestic and foreign players in private and investment banking space have been expanding their operations in a big way. This has resulted in a plethora of recruitment at the junior and senior levels.”

Another factor that has spurred the demand for executives in the financial services business, is the increased participation of retail investors in stock markets. Says Muhnot: “In the last two years, the number of IPOs making their way into the secondary markets has almost doubled. This has significantly increased businesses of most of the financial institutions operating in this space. Consequently, they need more people with good understanding of the markets.”

By all accounts, there are good times ahead for financial wizards.

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