Institutional structured credit salespeople are starting to eclipse hedge fund salespeople in the fashion stakes.
Alex Tracey, managing director of search firm Clifden Partners, says institutional sales types are displacing hedge fund salespeople on banks' wish lists of who to hire.
Candidates are in a good position as a result: "Someone taken on for this kind of role would ask for a strong two-year guarantee," he says.
Hedge funds still account for a hefty part of the market - from 2005 to 2006, they were responsible for 55% of all credit derivatives trading volumes, according to a survey by Greenwich Associates. But recruiters say hedge fund sales specialists aren't quite as popular as they once were.
"Hedge fund sales specialists have been the 'must have' of the last two years, but too many institutions have tried to get into that space," says Shaun Springer, chief executive of search firm Napier Scott.
Hedge fund sales types can at least draw some consolation from the fact that they still earn the most - Tracey says the discrepancy between pay for hedge fund professionals and their colleagues selling to institutions can be as high as 70%.
But even this may be narrowing: another headhunter told us the differential was 70% a few years ago. These days he says it's 30-40%, and falling.