Emphasis on reallocation rather than recruitment

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With most Nordic asset managers going into 2009 with dramatically reduced assets under management, wishful thinking suggests they might be looking to hire new talent to help their chances of surviving the coming year.

Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. According to one Stockholm recruitment consultant, the current emphasis is on evaluating internal talent and succession planning.

Falling AUM, shaken confidence, smaller teams mean it's all about achieving more with less.

Outside hiring is restricted to critical areas of strategic growth. As investor demand polarizes between higher risk equity funds and lower risk guaranteed products, the emphasis is on meeting customer needs. Plain vanilla products are out. Several managers are shifting away from vanilla funds as a result, and many, such as Swedbank Robur, SEB, Nordea, are broadening their product ranges.

Recruiters say compliance and risk roles are popular. However, with asset management firms such as the fund arm of SEB expecting to rationalize their fund offering by as much as 50% over the next few years, administrative roles are likely to fall. UCITS IV is likely to contribute to this trend.

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