A panel of headhunters gives its assessment of typical London pay packages. Average salary: 60,000; bonus: highly variable.
Recently published figures show that FTSE's gradual rise over the past year has led to a pickup in employment levels. To their relief - after several lean years when their skills lay fallow - marketing professionals have been among the gainers, with small, medium and large-sized institutions all looking to recruit individuals to work on both the retail and institutional sides.
'Competition to secure new investors has intensified; investment houses are placing increasing importance on the development and marketing of new products to try and stay ahead of the competition,' says Jeremy Canning of Morgan McKinley.
Others say, however, that after the false dawn of early 2004 - when the City of London was expecting a big recovery in markets and went on a buying spree to ensure they had the right talent - those finance houses who feel they jumped too quickly will be more cautious going into 2005.
'The market isn't what I'd call booming but individuals who can demonstrate they have good ideas and can contribute to company branding are in demand,' says Jeremy Russell, manager at the asset management division of Envision Personnel Solutions. He says that although the skills are interchangeable, marketing specialists with a background in marketing for either retail or institutional businesses will tend to stay in either one or the other.
So how do investment houses organize their marketing departments? Canning says they usually split them into three: marketing services, marketing communications and strategic marketing. While the former deals with design, print and production, marketing communications focuses on the customer (be they institutional investors, retail clients or high net worth individuals), while strategic marketers are concerned with the brand, looking at the organisations' customer base and conducting detailed competitor analysis.
Starting out as an investment writer is a typical route into marketing in asset management, although many come to the role from a marketing assistant position. Prior to that a good degree - at least 2.1 - is expected, ideally in some sort of business studies course. Those seeking to go into marketing communications - and focusing on the institutional side - will also need to be good with numbers, reflecting the sometimes technical nature of this role. The more dedicated individual in any of these three roles may also have a CIM (chartered institute of marketing) certificate. Strategic marketers usually have some sort of accounting qualification: many are actually certified accountants.
So how much moolah can the average marketing manager expect? Envision's Russell says the mean base is about 60,000: individuals with three or fewer years experience would earn between 40,000 and 50,000, while those who've been around longer - say, over six or seven years - could expect that figure to rise towards 75,000 to 80,000.
Bonuses are highly variable, reflecting both the individual's performance and the institution's approach towards rewarding its marketing division. Morgan McKinley's Canning agrees, suggesting that an individual with between four and ten years experience could expect to pull in between 40,000 to 80,000- again, with a highly variable bonus.
'Strategic marketers will generally receive the most attractive total compensation packages, which can include bonuses of between 25% and 50% of their basic salary,' he says.
Figures and commentary by Morgan McKinley and Envision Personnel Solutions