Demand for international, global and emerging markets investment personnel is the strongest it's been in the last four years, according to executive search firm Russell Reynolds' annual report on recruiting trends in investment management. U.S.-based firms have been actively hiring international equity portfolio managers and analysts, in addition to pursuing acquisitions and team liftout opportunities, said George Wilbanks, managing director in the firm's investment management practice. International value equity strategies were in the greatest demand over the last year, as investment management firms with global client bases and distribution operations have been expanding their equity offerings to gain a larger share of business in non-U.S. markets.
"There's more pressure for firms to grow their profitability now, rather than just their top-line revenue," said Mr. Wilbanks. "It's difficult to grow the business organically at a consistent rate, which has prompted many firms to add and build new products."
Right behind international equity recruiting, there's been a lot of search activity for top institutional sales and marketing positions, Mr. Wilbanks said. According to the report, 12 of the 300 largest investment managers have completed, or are in the process of completing, searches for institutional distribution heads. There were only two or three such searches last year, he said. Firms are also adding broadly to distribution teams, hiring a number of client service, sales and consultant relations professionals over the last year as well.