It is not only investors who are cashing out of the bull market. The people working at the coalface to keep the whole thing ticking are also reaping the benefits. In the first six months of the year, brokerages, private banks and asset management companies have been fighting to keep their best people from jumping ship to better jobs. White Collar has heard that a 30 per cent pay rise is often not enough to encourage people to stay with their old boss. The highest 'jump ship' incentive is said to be a one-year bonus - yes, one year and not one month. The payment is believed to have been made by a private bank to lure a mid-level manager from a local asset management firm. This was in addition to a 30 per cent premium on the original salary offer. And money talked - the manager is now working at the private bank. Industry sources said the most in demand people are those who have about five years' experience, know how to sell securities and other investments and have a strong client network. And it does not appear to matter whether people are working in insurance companies, brokerages, private banks or asset management firms. All are expanding into one area - wealth management. Private banks are getting people from asset management companies, while brokers are grabbing people from private banks to boost sales forces. Brokers and fund managers predict more battles for talent will be seen in the second half as the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement now allow mainland fund companies and securities firms to bring investment to Hong Kong. Keep an eye on your staff, bosses. More bad news for bonds Bonds have traditionally been seen a safe investment haven for pension funds and insurers. However, in part four of our mid-year market review and outlook podcast, Mark Konyn, chief executive of RCM Asia-Pacific, warned that the bond market faced continued difficulties because of uncertainties over interest rates. Mr Konyn said bonds definitely would underperform stocks, a trend that appeared in the first half and was likely to continue in the final six months of the year. The setback will inevitably affect the performance of pension funds and insurance policies, which have heavily invested in bonds. Small fry welcomes Fan's call More on Mark Konyn. While many MPF providers are not happy with calls by Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority chairman Henry Fan Hung-ling for reform of the city's pension scheme, Mr Konyn welcomes the debate. Mr Konyn works for RCM, part of the Allianz Group, an MPF provider. Two months ago, Mr Fan called for changes to let employees and not bosses choose their MPF providers. This will boost competition and force providers to cut their fees. 'Employees should have more choices,' Mr Konyn said. 'It will allow investors to choose the provider that can deliver the best return.' Taifook Securities Group managing director and chief executive Peter Wong Shiu-hoi shares that view; Taifook purchased MPF provider Kingway in March. It is no surprise to see Allianz and Taifook calling for change as the reforms may well let the smaller players grab more market share from the big boys. HSBC, Manulife, AIA-JF, BOCI-Prudential and Bank Consortium Trust currently have more than 80 per cent of the market, leaving little room for the small fish. Fitting farewell to CPA leader Vale Sir Gordon Macwhinnie, the father and founder of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants passed away last Wednesday. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Chan Ka Keung remembered Mr Macwhinnie as a man of principal. 'Sir Gordon was a man of great vision and had contributed in an invaluable way to the accountancy sector and the setting up of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology,' Mr Chan said.