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Professional Talent

Talented, high-caliber professionals engage in financial theoretical research and practice, R&D of innovative financial products, and R&D and management of financial derivatives. Through the development of advanced theories, they manage a great amount of products and services catering to the needs of various demographic groups. Unlike interdisciplinary managerial talents, professional talent includes line experts who create value with advanced, highly accurate, and specialized expertise. For securities companies, professional talent can be arranged by foreground, middle ground, and background categories, or by the nature of specific business lines, such as retail, and innovation. The capital market is currently marked by fierce business competition. Competition for talent is particularly strong. The specific areas of professional talent discussed next are the focus of major competition.

Investment Research Talent

These are professionals who can come up with diversified investment portfolios and who work hard to ensure the robustness and long-term value increase in capital. As high-level talent in the financial industry, investment managers are responsible for the construction, operation, and management of funds. In the financial industry, investment managers and researchers have always been the most important posts. In the fund market, there is already an abundance of funds of various types, such as closed-end funds, principal guaranteed funds, hybrid funds, securities-based funds, bond-based funds, and Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor (QDII) funds. However, there is a severe shortage of investment managers with advantageous knowledge structure and rich investment experience. Domestic asset management businesses are fiercely competing with each other for excellent investment managers and research analysts. In fact, a researcher is a very valuable talent resource for both a securities company and the client—fund companies. With years of research, investigation, and analysis, a researcher has a unique and accurate conviction of an industry and tends to play a determining role when the manager of the fund company chooses which stocks to invest in. On the other hand, the most top-notch and quintessential talent of a securities company tends to be concentrated in the industrial research team. Recent years have seen the majority of researchers in famous domestic research institutes with master's degrees or even PhDs. They have educational backgrounds from famous Chinese and international universities covering such fields as securities and futures, finance and banking, real estate, corporate management, laws, computers, electronics, auto, pharmaceuticals, and chemistry. This provides outstanding ability to conduct effective industrial analysis.

In overseas markets, the salary of a manager in a fund company falls below that of researchers. An insider recently told journalists that a fund company belongs to a stable growth industry and lives on fixed commissions provided by investors. On the other hand, a securities company has more cyclic characteristics due to different sources of revenues. The more bullish the market is, the more revenues a securities company can reap. When the market is in favorable condition, overseas securities companies may offer whopping bonuses that are virtually irresistible. In contrast, most overseas fund companies have an annual salary system for their staff.

Recent years of competition for investment talents in the domestic market has shown various major trends. The securities trader cultivates research analysts who compete amongst themselves for such awards as the New Fortune Award and the Crystal Ball Award. The winners get to secure their industrial status and may expect bountiful and stable compensation. More established research analysts tend to pivot toward the position of an investment manager. Frequent job-hopping from the position of a researcher to that of a fund manager has led to persistent vacancies on the research staff of many securities traders. It is not uncommon for one person in a securities company to keep track of multiple industries simultaneously. In fact, there is a shortage of researchers across the board in the securities and fund industries. In Shanghai, there is a static shortfall of at least 3,000 researchers. Taking into account the possibility of profession-hopping and business needs, it's not an exaggeration to put the figure at over 10,000. In recent years, people have been paying increasing attention to researchers. Some fund investment staffers have resumed their old jobs as researchers in securities companies, largely because some securities companies are raising bonuses for researchers, having realized their value. The career development trend of investment managers is one-sided: Investment managers move from securities companies to public offering funds, and then from public offering funds to private placement funds. Behind the scenes, it is the invisible hand of the market—the incentive mechanism—that is controlling the flow of resources. However, as domestic investors become more mature, they start to notice that a substantial number of investment managers lack solid investment experience. Some frequent concerns among investors include a short investment career, a marketing person turned investment manager, and incomplete absolute return records. The capital market investment manager team still needs to be built up step-by-step in parallel to the development of the Chinese capital market.

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