Making a team move in structured products

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A: Engineering a team move without an intermediary takes excellent contacts and a lot of confidence. You need to know whom to approach and how to do it, so that you don't end up with the whole market (including your current employer) knowing what you're up to.

If you are unsure of how to proceed you are probably better off attempting the move via an agency. You already know which banks you want to target, so find out which agencies those banks use and who the senior individuals are who deal with structured products in each of those agencies. (Most large institutions deal only with a small number of preferred agencies.

Non-compete clauses mean that you may have to approach several to cover all the banks you wish to target.)

Ideally, do enough asking around among your contacts to get a good idea about the agencies and the individuals you need to speak to before you pick up the phone to them.

Also be sure you have a coherent story about what each person brings to the team. "You want the hiring company to understand what they are getting and why each member of the team is important, otherwise they may only be interested in one or two members," advises recruitment expert Tony Tucker. Structured products is a good area to be in these days, so market forces are on your side.

Finally, have a good look at your current employment contracts - do they contain non-compete clauses, or anything else that would stop or hamper you? If in doubt consult a lawyer; your current employer is more likely to try to enforce its rights vigorously in the case of a whole team defection than if just one person were leaving. After all, its business in this area will presumably be seriously affected by the loss of three of you at once.

Next week's question: Can I move from economic policy to risk management? I am an economic analyst with a Securities Regulator in the Caribbean but want to pursue risk management in the UK. I have a BSc and a finance-focused MBA from UK-recognised institutions. I'm also doing the FRM exam of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. Any advice on how I should proceed?

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