Don't believe the hype. Despite the negative profile structured credit products have received during the past few years, some jobs in the space remain pretty secure. Maybe the people on the trading and sell side weren't so lucky, but the jobs of portfolio managers with a specialized skill never went away. Even as banks were forced to slough off some of their exotic products, hedge funds and pure asset managers firms stayed in the game.
"There's been a pretty steady demand for portfolio managers in structured credit products," reports Craig Stocksleger, managing partner for Comprehensive Recruiting.
So, what type of people are needed? Stocksleger says portfolio managers need to have a strong background in research, and might be someone who's moved over from being a trader.
Given the experience needed for those in demand, now might not be the time to segue from trading. But for those who've already got some experience under their belt - maybe a minimum of three to five years - the job of a structured products portfolio manager is a safe bet.
Pay depends on whether you're at a larger asset management firm versus a hedge fund with more risk and reward. Given the dynamics, Stocksleger says it's very hard to generalize about the compensation. Much compensation is also based on your,you're your bonus will be determined by your performance. Past performance is also factored into the mix.
As with any job, firms will certainly look at your comp history before they make an offer. "There are some people who are certainly being paid under market rate, and often the only way to bring that pay up is to jump ship," Stocksleger says