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Europe — Growth in wealth staffing to come from emerging markets

20 October 2009

Recruitment consultants believe emerging markets are likely to generate most of the growth in staffing in global wealth management in the year ahead as the offshore crackdown slows expansion in Europe, Wealth Bulletin reports.

Stephen Heal, managing director of London-based wealth management recruitment specialist HB International said, "most of the action is in the emerging markets — Asia, Middle East and Latin America. This is due to the banks concentrating on these offshore markets as the recent legal ramifications of the offshore crackdown are felt across Europe."

Heal said about two thirds of his business’s revenues come from emerging markets.

The prediction follows last week’s news that about 70 employees from RBS Coutts in Singapore had left to join rival wealth manager BSI.

Heal said, "this shows the level of activity in one of the big emerging market wealth centres." He also tipped Latin America as a big area for expansion in wealth management.

Reto Jauch, who runs the Zurich-based recruitment specialist Jauch Associates, said the offshore crackdown and new tax amnesties were beginning to affect some wealth management centres in Europe and creating opportunities in emerging markets.

He said, "if the Swiss wealth management industry is at a stage when critical strategic decision-making is required due to a changing market and regulatory environment, Lugano is the present epicentre."

BSI, owned by the Italian insurance group Generali, is based in the southern Swiss city of Lugano, which has traditionally received offshore Italian money. Italy recently introduced its third tax amnesty in eight years.
Zoe Robson, a wealth management recruitment specialist for Sheffield Haworth, agreed that emerging markets would generate most of the growth in recruitment during the coming year.

Robson said, "currently, the recruitment market is pretty slow in Europe and emerging markets is where the bigger action is now. We will have to wait until after bonuses are paid early next year to see if activity picks up in Europe."



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