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Adjusting Expectations

Despite a potential uptick in hiring, candidates and employees across the industry may have to adjust their salary expectations to meet a significantly different compensation structure compared to recent years' model.

A study recently issued by Russell Reynolds reported shifts in compensation across the financial services industry, which could create a little sticker shock for some. For example, sales executives' bonuses will drop as little as 25% (for high-level managers at strong niche firms) to as much as 75% (for wholesalers).

Furthermore, sales positions will rely even more heavily on performance-based compensation, according to the study.

While some areas of investment management, such as large-scap growth, have an excess of portfolio managers, there is a dearth of managers in other sectors. For instance, many professionals with expertise in value had left the industry several years ago when the style fell out of vogue, but now there is a huge run on value managers, driving up compensation. Either way, sector performance has become an even more critical hiring criterion.