Traders With Experience Have Opportunities in Emerging Markets

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Though job prospects are bright for traders working on emerging market desks either stateside or abroad, the focus is on finding professionals with experience. Proven producers with a book of business can pretty much set the terms of their deal, and sales and IT folks are also getting top dollar. But the positions have rather narrow job descriptions. What's needed? Experience in - and a deep knowledge - of the region in question, as well as P&L responsibility and necessary tech skills.

All this shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given the push by U.S. banks and bulge brackets to replace losses in domestic products. Emerging markets debt trading volumes were a whopping $1.551 trillion during this year's second quarter, according to the Emerging Markets Trading Association.

Said the EMTA: "This represents an increase of 57 percent compared to second quarter 2009 volumes of US$985 billion," the group said, "and an 11% increase over the US$1.402 trillion reported to EMTA in the first quarter." The figures represent trading volume in emerging market debt instruments, reported by more than 50 investment and commercial banks, asset managers and hedge funds.

Meanwhile, futures exchange CME Group "is considering a range of new futures contracts aimed at European and emerging markets, as major derivatives exchange operators plot a fresh round of cross-border growth." The push will include relocating some management overseas and boosting research efforts.

The hunt for new business isn't just focused on emerging market economies. Much of Asia is on the radar, especially Singapore, the Philippines, China, India, Korea, and Hong Kong, says Craig Lapham, managing partner and CEO for the Lapham Group, a boutique retained executive search firm. He says management types are in hot demand - people who can steer the ship as it leaves port, so to speak. The World Federation of Exchanges reports that of the 52 world exchanges, the Colombo SE, Korea Exchange, National Stock Exchange India, Philippine SE, Shanghai SE, and Shanghai SE saw the greatest increases in the U.S. dollar value of shares trading from 2008 to 2009.

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