Fierce competition to hire equity analysts in London last year drove base salaries up by 19% for candidates with no previous research experience, says a report by recruitment company EM.
"Demand was so strong that banks and brokers were more than willing to take inexperienced people and train them on board, leading to much higher salaries compared to similar people joining in 1999," EM managing director David Howell told eFinancialCareers. He said he thought the trend would continue.
"Some of the smaller US houses are paying extremely aggressive salaries to attract talent," says the report. EM said its statistics were based on the salaries of more than 60 candidates which it placed last year.
Nearly 70% of the candidates held the Chartered Accountancy ACA qualification. More than 90% had a 2.1 degree and nearly 75% had a mathematics background.
"Clients are increasingly demanding extensive mathematical and modelling experience at junior levels," says the report.
Nearly 30% of candidates joining from an industry or commerce background in 2000 received a guaranteed first year package of more than 175,000, the report continues.
Those joining from consultancy and accountancy backgrounds fared much less well, though the report adds that candidates from the biggest accountancy companies were highly prized.
Early in 2000, the big recruitment growth area for equity analysts was technology, media and telecoms, but demand stabilised later in the year, the report says.
Other strong areas included the automotive, transport, pharmaceuticals, retail and utilites sectors.