Select Demand for Chicago Sell-Side Analysts

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While hiring is slow among Chicago's financial firms, a number of sell-side equity analyst positions have opened up recently.

"These are replacement searches," says Edward Storm of Comprehensive Recruiting, a Phoenix -based executive search firm that focuses on various sectors of the global financial markets. Top-tier firms are terminating analysts who have had poor performance and are replacing them with established, senior equity analysts, he observes.

Some of these candidates are being recruited from competitors, though Storm notes many quality analysts have been laid off from large firms, which have reduced headcount after significant write-downs. These analysts may have turned in solid performances but became victims of the weak economy.

A senior analyst at a top firm confirms movement in the marketplace. "Companies are trying to find better performers in order to be more competitive in this market," he says. "Firms are shopping for talent to replace current analysts." This particular himself has received numerous recruiting calls with enticing compensation packages.

Established Among Buy-Side Clients

The jobs in Chicago are not for junior analysts, says Storm. Windy City firms are looking for professionals with experience who are well-known among buy side clients. They must be able to present unique investment ideas and substantiate them with high-quality analysis. Job postings include listings from a variety of sectors: Household Goods, Semiconductors, Business Services, Big Box Retail, Energy, Health Care and Financial Services specialization are all included.

Candidate Criteria

Most top firms are seeking candidates with at least five years as a publishing analyst. Candidates who have strong oral and written communication skills are always in demand, and the ability to work well with a sales force is attractive. Typically, employers are looking for candidates with an MBA and/or a CFA.

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