Several of the larger tier one banks are undergoing well-publicised restructures within their financial crime functions and as a result, we have noted significant movement throughout Q2 at the senior end from Vice President to Head of level.
Asset management firms in particular have had a substantial need for financial crime specialists as there has been much attraction in this space from a recruitment perspective. With the regulator turning their focus to the buy-side industry over the last 12 months or so, this increase in demand has been expected. Unlike in banking where financial crime positions are quite specialised, in asset managers they are generalist financial crime positions due to the small teams (sometimes a sole person) performing this role. Interestingly, we have seen a number of asset managers backfill a generalist compliance position with a financial crime specific role highlighting this regulatory scrutiny.
FIU – With a number of banks focusing on their financial intelligence function, and analytic systems supporting this, we continue to see hiring across FIU encompassing technology, operations and data analytics.
Whilst this has been an area subject to some relocation to low-cost centres, it is largely still a division held in London. As this is now an established function, we have seen the demand for candidates from a policing / intelligence background slightly drop as there is a larger pool of candidates with like-for-like experience at other banks.
Asset Management – Roles sitting in both 1LOD and 2LOD within the buy-side have increased dramatically this quarter. Whilst these roles are quite generalist positions, being involved in all aspects of financial crime – we have also seen Policy specific positions. This supports the notion that asset managers are committed to ensuring their financial crime framework and infrastructure is up to date and implemented across the organisation.
Advisory: This is still a fundamental area of recruitment with experienced financial crime professionals in high demand. Whilst many of the banks are in the process of nearshoring or offshoring the majority of their financial crime function to low cost areas, senior advisory roles are still located in London. Due to shortage of the necessary skillset outside of London, candidates with experience within anti-money laundering are very sought after by our clients.
KYC/AML: Surprisingly the demand for junior KYC/AML candidates particularly within our asset management and private banking clients has increased in Q2. Due to increased regulatory pressures and workload many of the asset management firms have invested in additional headcount into their small financial crime teams based in London. However, as these roles are quite junior clients with a large pool of candidates to choose from, many clients have reduced the salaries on offer.
FIU: In tandem with the permanent market, the demand for FIU candidates has continued into Q2 as expected. Over the recent months we have seen a vast number of roles across this space which includes financial crime technology, data analytics across various levels.
By comparison with the permanent market where there is now more demand for those with like for like skill sets, the contracting space is more flexible with background and we have seen many candidates coming from consultancy or even outside of financial services.
We expect the demand for financial crime candidates from an asset management background to continue to rise as buy-side firms look to up-skill their financial crime teams (or create specific roles in some cases).
Whilst the market slows slightly over the summer period with both clients and candidates likely going away on annual leave, we expect the number of FCC specific roles to increase across the entire market as the fall-out from bonus period continues.