Money matters, but not as much as quality of life and the opportunity to make a difference. This is the surprising consensus of securities industry professionals responding to the 2005 compensation survey by Diversified Management Resources of Boston and the National Investment Company Service Association, of Wellesley Hills, Mass.

In the pursuit of more fulfilling work, particularly in a job market many believe to be strong, nearly two out of three of various securities industry professionals said they'd be willing to make a change.

Most likely to jump ship are marketing professionals, with 17% reporting they are actively seeking other employ. The group with the biggest, though passive, yen to switch is operations executives, with 59% saying they are open to new job opportunities. Ironically, however, only 5% of those in operations are actively looking for another job.

"Although more participants in the survey said they are adequately paid (48%) than feel undervalued (42%), many said they are open to new job opportunities,'" noted Charlie O'Neill, a principal with DMR.

Quality of Life

"Overall results suggest that people in the industry are most interested in such intangibles as quality of work/life balance, quality of management and fellow employees and the opportunity to make a difference," O'Neill said.

But although participants claimed to put quality of life factors first when they consider new job opportunities, many are not satisfied with their compensation. This is especially true in the compliance and marketing departments; 66% of chief compliance officers assert they are underpaid in light of their work's personal risk and complexity, making them the least satisfied group. Next up in terms of salary dissatisfaction is marketers, 58% of whom report their salaries are below par. Forty-two percent of operations executives said they are underpaid relative to their experience and the value of their work.

Ready to Jump Ship

Of these three specialties, marketers are the most focused on getting a job with a higher salary. "Marketers are most inclined to evaluate new opportunities on the basis of compensation potential, with 83% of this group saying this is their No. 1 priority in selecting another job," O'Neill said.

Job hopping is likely to continue, he added, with executives' interest in other opportunities being whetted by increased phone calls from executive recruiters. Many survey participants said they had received "repeated calls" from recruiters over the past six months.

Respondents to the employment trends survey were well-educated, senior executives, with 24% holding an MBA or equivalent degree and 37% in the business for 16 years or more. DMR designed the survey and conducted it in partnership with NICSA in June, receiving substantial help from a number of sponsors, including PA Compliance, SalesLink and Unified Fund Services.

Money Management Executive will continue to publish other sections of the employment trends survey in the weeks ahead, most notably findings on the key new position of chief compliance officers. Below, and on the opposite page, are charts laying out specific answers to the compensation section of the survey.

For more information about the ongoing DMR/NICSA survey program, please visit The CCO Compensation and Employment Trends survey report is available for purchase through DMR.

(c) 2005 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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