Hiring in asset management in the first half of this year is expected to be stagnant but there may be cause for optimism in the second half, a study by employment firm Clarius Group says.

There was no recruitment in the Christmas-New Year period. In February there has been very “moderate requirement,” says Paul Barbaro, Clarius’ executive general manager.

“It’s dire,” says Barbaro. “There is less demand because of what is happening in Europe. There is also less attrition.”

Unlike the commercial banking sector, there have been no mass firings at asset management companies. But there has been a “sharp decline in hires,” says Barbaro.

The number of advertised jobs in asset management in the January-February period is usually about 300. Now it is between 70 and 80.

Barbaro says much of the optimism toward hiring in the second half of the year is the belief that “things can’t get worse”.

Some of the impetus in financial sector hiring may come from a deteriorating credit environment. Credit management and account-receivable people may be in demand, adds Barbaro.

Clarius’s broader report on labour demand and supply was completed in conjunction with KPMG Econtech.

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