Packages Up for Derivatives Back Office Pros

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The laws of supply and demand are both intuitive and easy to grasp. When a thing is in short supply, its price will rise and ration its availability. Back office derivative specialists are being rationed, so guess what's happening to pay.

Brian Drum, managing director of search firm Drum Associates in New York, says pay is becoming more generous. He says derivatives settlements specialists with several years' experience can earn up to $162,000, bonuses included. A senior supervisory officer working on derivatives settlements can earn between $300,000 and $400,000.

Mike Hartwell, director of the operations-specialist search firm Hartwell Buck, says pay has risen faster for people who know what they're doing. Salaries for International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) documentation specialists with over three years' experience have risen 30% in recent years, he says, to between $88,000 and $106,000, plus a 50% to 60% bonus.

Tara Ricks, managing director of London middle and back office recruitment firm Joslin Rowe Associates, says junior salaries for derivative back office roles in London rose more than 10% over the past year, to between $43,000 and $62,,000.

France, Switzerland ahead of Italy

Pay in continental Europe is predictably lower. Valeria Manzoni, a recruiter at Adecco in Italy, says Milanese derivatives specialists with several years' experience can expect a total package of just $36,000.

Guy de Brabois, a senior consultant in the banking and finance division of Robert Walters in France, says similarly experienced staff in Paris can expect a salary of $60,000 to $72,000, plus a 10% bonus.

Daniel Odermantt, a partner at Swiss-based recruiter McDust Talent, says their counterparts in Zürich can expect to earn between $59,000 and $62,000, plus a 10% bonus.