Infrastructure

  1. How would we describe the current recruitment environment? How has this impacted on compensation?
    • There is strong recruitment activity across all areas of infrastructure – funds management (both listed and unlisted, greenfield and brownfield), advisory (project finance and brownfield), and government, corporates.
    • In relation to level, the hiring demand has been particularly high for candidates with advanced modelling skills with 2-5 years experience.
    • Compensation has lifted in general across the investment banks for Vice President/Associate Director and below based both on team profitability and staff retention.
      Less activity at the senior levels ..in fact there are a number of well credentialed senior operators on the market looking at options whom have been available for a while now.
  2. Any client or candidate trends observed since the start of the year?
    • The Analyst pool for the infrastructure/utilities sector teams at global banks have found it extremely difficult to attract and retain staff despite market leading salaries. This is based on the banks maintaining high technical requirements despite the limited number of candidates at this level.
    • There are still new investors entering this market with a number of new funds commencing operations.
    • A number of key Managing Director level individuals particularly in the unlisted infrastructure funds have been leaving without being replaced.
    • We have seen a growing interest in renewable energy as an investment class and subsequently with respect to requested skills when hiring.
    • We’ve also seen cases where candidates have left fund/ buy side roles to go into (sometimes back in to) Investment Banking, maybe a combination of $ offerings by the banks, lack of ability to put capital to work and/or the layers of seniority and lack or career progression within particular funds being the cause.
  3. Any predictions for the rest of this year / beginning of 2016?
    • We expect there to be continued growth in the infrastructure sector across all areas, albeit the funds market would seemingly be close to capacity.
    • The big 4 accounting firm’s Infrastructure Advisory divisions who have not responded to higher salary and bonus expectations amongst infrastructure professionals will continue to have pressure on retaining staff from higher paying funds, banks and boutique advisory firms.
    • As deal activity overseas (US & Europe) continues to grow we may see talent from here move offshore as Australian Infrastructure expertise is held in high regard.
  4. Any interesting case studies of late?
    • A ‘premier brand’ global infrastructure fund failing to find an Analyst based on very few options.
    • Analysts at the global banks who are mid bonus cycle (waiting for and expecting high bonuses early 2016).
    • Several new entrants into the market, and funds who were dormant returning to the mix with particular interest around mid cap and higher IRR infrastructure.
    • Because of the material lift in market rates for Analysts and Associates, several funds are starting to target candidates out of the big 4

Mischa Bennett
02 9235 9430