Business / Markets

Volatile markets take toll on fund managers

By Wu Yiyao (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-30 08:01

Fierce competition for clients and volatile markets this summer drove hundreds of fund managers to leave the industry, spurring a younger profile of new hires for the high-pressure job, according to figures compiled by Shanghai Wind Information Co Ltd and industry sources.

Out of an estimated 1,200 fund managers from domestic firms, nearly 290, or 24 percent, quit this year.

In October alone, 13 fund managers quit along with four senior executive officers at fund institutions, according to the figures compiled by Wind Information.

That compares to a 20 percent turnover rate for fund managers in 2014, and puts this year on pace to see the highest rate of churn on record, industry watchers said.

More than 20 companies experienced five or more fund managers quitting during the year as long hours and unsteady markets hit by the Shanghai Composite sell-off in July and August took a toll.

Fund managers are under great pressure because their investment decisions affect the welfare of individual investors, and the entire summer of wild market fluctuations made for many sleepless nights, said Chen Jiao, account manager with Shanghai-based human resources firm Zhongzhi Consultancy Ltd.

"Competition in the field is getting increasingly fiercer and everyone's results are ranked and displayed on weekly basis.

"While some fund managers leave one company and take a similar job in another company, such as a private equity firm, many are leaving the arena for good," said Chen.

Investors Journal Weekly, a Changsha-based business magazine, said fewer than 20 percent of fund managers decided to take a similar position in another firm, with the remainder moving on to new career paths.

However, there's no shortage of young candidates for the job with as many as 488, or 42 percent, in the first year of working as fund managers, according to Wind Information data. Another 227, or less than 20 percent, have worked more than four years as fund managers.

Companies in the sector hope better market conditions will lead to a more stable turnover rate in the fourth quarter.

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