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UK — Bankers move to private equity firms to avoid tougher regulation

25 January 2010

Many of London's investment bankers are seeking to quit the industry in favour of private equity firms and hedge funds to escape heavy regulation and public censure for the financial crisis, The Guardian reports.

Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International told the Guardian that it was snowed under with requests from middle-ranking and senior staff who wanted to switch to other areas of the financial services industry.

Chris Gaunt, Principal at Heidrick & Struggles Financial Services, said "people are asking to be taken out of banks for jobs in other parts of the industry. Hedge funds and private equity are top of the list."

"We are not seeing anyone looking to leave London, or at least only in small numbers but we are seeing people wanting to leave banking."

Mr. Gaunt also pointed out that the new 50% tax rate, which applies to incomes of more than 150,000 Pounds from April this year serves as a deterrent for UK bankers working overseas against moving back to Britain.

"Brits overseas are much more reluctant to move back. For instance, it is almost impossible to lure back someone from a large financial centre like Hong Kong at the moment", Gaunt said.



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