Emissions ignite demand for traders

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Emissions trading was once something of an add-on in the average broker's portfolio. Headhunters predict this is set to change.

"There is going to be much more focused development of this type of product coverage within the commodities market," says Colleen Quilty at headhunter Akamai Financial Markets.

Whereas in the past, commodities specialists often saw emissions expertise as a 'bolt on', it will become a much more saleable asset, she predicts.

It doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see why. The UK Government is proposing a massive expansion in emissions trading and Morgan Stanley has announced its intention to invest 1.6bn in carbon credits and energy projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Morgan Stanley's announcement comes hard on the heels of last month's climate change report by World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern, who argued that tax, trading or regulation was "an essential foundation" for tackling global warming.

Increased interest in emissions issues means it is inevitable demand for expertise will increase, says Quilty.

But another headhunter in the area cautions that the increase hasn't happened yet. "At the moment, it is more passive than active. But the fact is there probably will be a shortage of people with the knowledge. I think we will start to see experienced brokers making the transition," she predicts.

Specialists in similar areas, such as coal and other energy products, will be obvious candidates to switch into emissions trading, she argues.

"It depends how the business evolves. If it's just going to be a numbers business, people from any sort of broking background could probably come in, but if it's going to be more complex you could need more depth and knowledge," she adds.

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