BTW, ETFs are hot

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ETFs are growing at a rate of 33% a year. So is now the time to make your move into the market?

Yes, according to Chris Sevenoaks, consultant at recruitment firm Finance Professionals and Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) advocate. "Europe's the big market for ETFs right now," he says. "A lot of firms are trying to replicate the growth they've achieved in the US."

The World's top two ETF providers are Barclays Global Investors and State Street Global Advisors and recruiters say both are hiring in Europe. Also recruiting (reportedly) are established players on the continent, such as Soc Gen.

For the uninitiated, ETFs are baskets of funds that track an index but can be traded like stocks. They have several things going for them - including low-cost efficient trading and the ability to hedge risk via exposure to a basket of funds.

ETFs' European emphasis may be just as well, given new research from Morgan Stanley which suggests the US side of the industry grew at an annualised rate of just 10% in the first quarter of this year - down from 30% in 2006 and considerably lower than the 33% per annum growth rate predicted by financial research firm Celent.

Globally, however, ETFs appear to be doing well. The Financial Times recently quoted figures from the Investment Company Institute, an industry body, which suggest more than 95 ETFs have launched already this year and about 160 started last year. In 1996 the FT says that number was closer to 17.

Within the ETF universe, Sevenoaks says demand is strongest for product developers - typically quants who conduct the technical analysis required to construct the funds. He says team leaders in the area can earn upwards of 250k total comp.

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