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Changes within the asset management and pensions industry in Ireland - particularly in areas where firms and funds must meet the demands of regulators - mean some positions are hard to fill. Recruitment consultants report that shortages of candidates have pushed salaries up for certain roles.
Pensions consultants in Ireland are now commanding salaries of anything between €50K and €80K, says Andrea Clarkson, manager of the insurance and mortgage division of Premier recruitment consultants. Salaries for pension fund managers are substantially more than that. “They can be anything up to €150K,” says Clarkson, “with bonuses on top of that.”
On the actuarial side, the shortage of qualified staff continues, she says. “There’s never been an availability of actuaries,” she says, and that is reflected in the salaries. Actuarial positions are now carrying salary levels of €65K-80K.
Demand for actuaries is coming from pensions consultancies as well as from other employers within the pensions industry. There is a lot of demand for qualified actuaries, but the sheer length of the education required puts many potential candidates off. It can take up to seven years to qualify as an actuary, says Clarkson, and at least initially, the work itself can be too tedious for some. “There are a lot of drop outs,” she says.
For roles within pensions administration, starting salaries stand at €20K-25K currently, with that level of pay rising to €30K for those candidates with two to three years’ experience. At the senior level, an administrator would typically earn around €50K, according to Premier.
Within banking, employers are on the hunt for staff to carry out the institution’s self-policing roles says Anne Quinn, consultant at Brightwater recruitment consultants. “Compliance is a major focus at the moment; banks are very much looking for compliance people,” she says.
According to Premier’s 2005 salary survey, pay for compliance managers stands at between €50K and €70K, while at the less senior level, compliance officers are earning €35K to €45K.
On the other hand, demand for fund managers is weaker. However, within fund management, there are now more jobs around for business analysts, due to the relatively high number of new companies and projects that are being set up right now. Firms are looking for people who come from a funds background but who also have some IT experience to deal with the operations side of new ventures.
At least from a recruitment perspective, asset management on the whole is not one of the main areas that is growing, consultants say. But hedge funds are proliferating, and this is a constantly growing sector of the market, says Quinn. The right staff, though, can be hard for the specialist managers to find.
“It is certainly a very candidate-driven market at the moment,” says Sonja McManus, consultant at Dublin-based Brightwater in the fund services division. Clients are establishing specialist divisions. “It is difficult to find candidates with suitable skill sets.”
Salaries for analysts are definitely above the €40K mark, says Quinn. Someone in an analytical role can expect to see their yearly pay go up to €80K, €90K or €100K, she says.
Salaries for fund administrators dealing with valuations start at €24K to€26K, and a business graduate with six months experience under their belt could expect to earn around that level, says McManus. A senior fund accountant with three years’ experience would typically earn between €32K and €40K, she says, with that level rising to €48K to€60K for the manager of a team.
Salaries within pensions management have been in a rising trend in real terms, according to Greenwich Associates. In a report on the UK market, using figures which include Ireland, the firm says average salaries rose 5% from £62K (€90.4K) in 2003 to nearly £65K in 2004. Bonuses jumped 20% from nearly £12K to almost £15K in the same period.

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