NEW YORK - Recruiting by investment firms was led mainly by strategic considerations in 1996, according to an analysis of searches carried out by executive recruiters Russell Reynolds Associates Inc., New York.
Growth - whether internal or through a merger or acquisition -was the reason for many searches in 1996 and global expansion of both product and distribution was behind most of them.
There has been a great expansion in marketing staffs as firms try different forms of distribution to reach the defined contribution market. The main interest among research searches has been driven by international expansion, said Richard S. Lannamann, managing director of Russell Reynolds.
Contrary to previous years, when senior portfolio managers were the most sought-after professionals, marketing professionals were in greatest demand among the searches done by Russell Reynolds. Twenty-three percent of searches undertaken globally for clients in 1996 were seeking marketers, compared with 18% in both 1994 and 1995.
Senior portfolio managers were in a second-place tie with chief executive and chief investment officer searches, which made up 21% of search activity in 1996. Senior portfolio managers were most wanted in 1995 and 1994, making up 31% and 29% of searches, respectively; while CEO/CIO searches were second both years, with 22% in 1994 and 21% in 1995. Searches for research professionals increased to 19% of all searches from 15% in 1995.
The lower demand for portfolio managers reflects a new trend in which discretion in portfolio management is being limited to one person or a smaller group of people than before, said Mr. Lannamann. The chief investment officer or the head of the specific product area makes the main investment decisions for the portfolios while the rest of the team provides research input or client service, without real discretion, he said.