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Threadneedle likes nabbing senior bankers but is it the only one?

Finally, something to shout about in Singapore's asset management sector. UK firm Threadneedle has appointed Andrew Chan as head of product and business development for Asia Pacific, supported by Tony Poon and Harry Tan.

What do these gentlemen have in common? They all worked for Merrill Lynch, clocking up about 80 years' experience between them.

But is this a sign of healthy, across-the-board hiring in long-only, traditional funds? Unfortunately not.

"Recruitment in this sector is not that active and I foresee the outlook remaining focused, targeted and on a needs basis for the rest of the year," says Angela Kuek, head of front-office banking and financial services, Hudson.

No one firm in Singapore stands out as a star recruiter this year and junior jobs are particularly scarce, according to a headhunter who asked not to be named.

Movement in the industry is likely to be concentrated at a senior level this year, with appointments similar to the Threadneedle trio, he says.

"It's quite common for sell-side folks to join the buy side after some years of experience accumulated from the bulge brackets," adds Kuek.

Sell-side candidates are still interested in asset management, despite the smaller size of the employment market. "Buy-side work can be more interesting than banking, encompassing true investment activities, less bureaucracy, more flexibility, and good potential upside on compensation," she says.

The lure of bigger bonuses on the buy side is becoming even more appealing because of banks capping and deferring their bonuses.

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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