Fund-linked derivatives see surge in hiring

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Recruiters say fund-linked derivatives are set to become the new hot derivatives hiring area for 2006 on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Fund-linked derivatives are a huge growth area right now," says Jonathan Astbury, a director at recruitment firm Sandton Group. "All the big banks are looking for structurers, salespeople and due diligence specialists, both in London and the US."

Fund-linked derivatives enable asset managers to create new customised investment products without also creating new underlying funds. With many based on hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, they offer investors an opportunity to access to high return products at controlled levels of risk.

Suggestions of a hiring surge in the area correspond with a report in Derivatives Week that SG Corporate and Investment Bank is looking to build out its hedge fund and fund of funds derivatives team.

Thomas Doyle from KBC Financial Products has been brought in to manage the build-out. He told that hires are likely, just not yet: "We're looking at the resources available internally. There will definitely be hires, but how many and when remains indeterminate at this stage."

Banks such as BNP Paribas are already big in the fund-linked derivatives market, and one recruiter says others are keen to join in. He says HSBC and Merrill Lynch are among those building up in London.