Money management firms are reopening their wallets to bring in new investment talent after several years of cutting costs, with much of the spending focused on boosting their international strategies.
In the past year, investment firms have added to both their investment teams and distribution teams, chiefly with international and global investments, according to the latest annual report on recruiting trends in investment management from Russell Reynolds Associates Inc.
"There's more pressure for firms to grow their profitability now, rather than just their top-line revenue," said George Wilbanks, managing director in Russell Reynolds' investment management practice in New York. "It's difficult to grow the business organically at a consistent rate, which has prompted many firms to enhance existing strategies or build new investment products."
As a result, he said demand for international, global and emerging markets equity portfolio managers and analysts is the greatest it has been in the last four years, and has outpaced hiring in other asset classes. International value equity strategies, in particular, have generated some of the most significant recruiting activity of the year.
"It's not just hiring individuals, either," said Mr. Wilbanks. "We've seen a great deal of activity from firms looking to acquire smaller international shops, or lifting out whole teams with established track records from other managers."
Firms such as Mellon Institutional Asset Management, BNY Asset Management and Lazard Asset Management have been actively building their international operations in the U.S. and abroad (Pensions & Investments, Sept. 19).