Structured-finance specialists in the job market would be well advised to go to Japan, where demand for asset-backed professionals is very high, said securitization experts. This year's ABS explosion in Japan along with a general shortage of structured-finance specialists in the region has meant that many firms involved in the asset-backed business are hunting experienced staff willing to settle in Tokyo. "Practically every bank is looking to hire anyone with experience right now, even if you can spell the word securitization. It's pretty crazy," commented one banker in Hong Kong.

Banks looking to bolster their presence in Japan include ING Barings, Credit Suisse First Boston, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. Bank of America has reportedly been looking for an ABS head in Japan. Demand for those with experience in real-estate finance and securitization is particularly keen, as the number of commercial mortgage-backed securitizations is expected to multiply quickly before year-end. "Commercial real estate is booming right now. But there's definitely a shortage of appraisers, and lack of trained people here in general," added another pro.

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