Insights

Finance & Accountancy

FINANCE MARKET COMMENTARY, Q1 2017

• Article by BRUIN Financial

FINANCE MARKET COMMENTARY, Q1 2017

MARKET OVERVIEW

Over Q1, the market has been stable with a steady flow of jobs released in all areas from Audit to Management Accounting. We also saw a sharp increase in the hiring appetite of the larger Retail & Investment banking clients in response to the shortfall of relevant internal applicants to replace the attrition the banks have seen over the past 12-18 months.

It is apparent that the market is becomingly increasingly candidate focused, with candidates being offered significant salary increases and discretionary bonuses to deter them from moving on. But conversely, the increasing salary expectations of candidates leaving audit for the first time has also presented a challenge. Many of the Big4 have recently introduced an uplift in basic salaries upon qualification, and clients who have not recruited at this level in the last 12 months have found their salary bandings are no longer aligned to the market. As a result they have struggled to attract the same calibre of talent.

Overall, bonuses were in line with that of previous years, Asset Management and Trading entities continue to offer high total reward of up to 60% of basic salary with 20-25% being the average. With regards to the larger banking institutions the range is from 10%-30% with average bonuses of 10-15% being paid.

ROLE PROFILES

On the buy-side, we saw demand across financial accounting, fund accounting, systems accounting and financial control, and noted that fund accounting candidates are now increasingly expected to have an understanding of financial instruments and various fund structures. For temporary and interim roles, demand for contractors has been predominately at the junior end and candidates with 1-3 of post qualified experience are highly sought after.

On the sell-side we have seen an increase in the product control and valuation space, with an emphasis on junior candidates. Investment Banks are increasingly open to candidates from a variety of backgrounds and level of experiences in order to secure these in demand junior team members. This has been driven by a VP heavy market, with the result that quality AVPs and below are highly sought after and seldom in the market long.

Across the Investment Banking industry the key roles we recruited for included elements of FP&A and Financial Accounting.  In the space of Regulatory Reporting firms expressed strong interest for Newly Qualified candidates. In Product Control the function has evolved as candidates were generally required to have a good understanding of particular products as well as some risk and valuations knowledge.

PREDICTIONS

We are anticipating a considerable increase in activity moving into Q2 following bonus payments and the usual accompanying musical chairs.  However many Financial Institutions are yet to show their hand in terms of more long term hiring plans for 2017 and responses for Brexit.

This year the Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulation also comes into effect, which requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations on salaries and bonuses by gender annually.  As of April 2017 employers have up to 12 months to publish this information on their website.

BRUIN has launched a number of initiatives to support our clients in meeting their gender diversity objectives and one example is the provision of detailed salary information with which clients can benchmark themselves, including the average gender pay gap within the Finance and Accounting space. Our findings indicate that at the more junior levels, the salaries tend to be comparable, but there is a notable gap at the senior end illustrated below:

 

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