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Dramatic uplift in hiring of junior buy-side professionals but where are the women?

With the improving economy and the subsequent uplift in M&A and deal flow, the demand for junior to mid-level staff from the buy-side is on the rise.  Overall recruitment has grown by nearly 38% since 2011 in the EMEA region, but women still make up less than 15% of all buy-side recruits.  

This year, buy-side firms including Private Equity, Venture Capital, Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Hedge Funds and Asset Management recruited a total of 236 junior candidates across the EMEA region in the last year to September 2014 from investment banks and consultancies, with 139 going to private equity. This represents a significant increase from the 213 in the 2012-2013 cycle and 155 in the 2011-2012 cycle.  

Hephzi Nicol, Co-founder of Kea Consultants, said: “We are pleased by the steady increase in the number of junior professionals.  We did expect to see an increase in junior hiring now that deals flow is increasing because they are most affordable and manageable.  

“Pay rises so far have only been moderate, thought they are greater than any we’ve seen in the past five years.  Many recovering funds are reviewing base salaries for the first time since the crisis began eight years ago.”

However, female recruits only made up 14.8% of all recruits in the 2013-2014 cycle, a 2.4% decrease from the previous year.

On female hires, Nicol added: “Despite increased demand from buy-out firms for talented women, the supply of female candidates continues to be constrained.  The buy-side recruitment process tends to emphasise finance experience, and women are already severely under-represented in the banking pools from which buy-side firms hire the majority of their candidates.

“Culture is a major deterrent for junior women considering a profession in finance, especially when weighted against the prospects of having a family, and many talented female candidates choose careers in other fields like management consulting.”

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