Salary survey: Operations pay rises in asset management firms

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A battle with investment banks to hire talent has led to an increase in salaries of operations and support staff working for UK fund managers, the recruitment company Robert Walters says.

A survey by the company shows that salary levels early this year were higher across the board compared with early 2000, typically by about 5% and by more than 10% in some functions.

Newly qualified fund accounting staff could expect to earn between 40,000 and 43,000, up from 38,000 to 42,000 last year. Accountants with one or two years experience earned between 43,000 to 47,000, up from 40,000 to 45,000.Those with three years under their belt could expect between 47,000 and 55,000, up from 45,000 to 48,000.

Financial control staff with three or more years' experience saw an increase in salary levels from between 45,000 and 50,000 last year, to 46,000 to 53,000 this year. Newly qualified staff could expect to earn between 38,000 and 42,000, up from 35,000 to 40,000 last year.

Salaries of internal auditors also rose. Those with over three years experience could expect to earn between 48,000 and 55,000, compared to 48,000 to 52,000 last year.

At more senior levels, salaries in early 2001 ranged between 60,000 and 85,000 for financial controllers, from 55,000 to 75,000 for heads of fund accounting and from 80,000 to 120,000 for finance directors.

Angus Macwatt, manager of investment management finance at Robert Walters, said that

investment banks had been seeking to attract skilled staff away from the investment houses by offering higher salaries. This had forced the investment managers to increase the salaries that they offered.

He said that asset managers had been less affected by recent economic turbulence than investment banks. "There is still a fairly significant shortage of good quality candidates with investment management experience, because the market is still relatively strong in comparison to the investment banking business," he said.

"The investment management business is better at retaining staff than the investment banks, partly because it is geared towards investment in people over the longer term," he added.

"It tends to be a slower market, not such long hours and staff tend to be more contented."