Q4 like the rest of the UK’s business sectors has been dominated by Brexit and the uncertainty that it leaves in it’s wake. Over the course of the quarter there has been a focus on bringing to life the contingency plans that were made over a year ago. Top Asset Managers and Investment Banks have been working out their post Brexit solutions. Several firms have announced relocation out of London to alternative locations such as Frankfurt, Ireland, Paris, Poland and Zurich, and as a result have made redundancies across back and middle office.
The budget for Brexit has now been set and the programmes have started. According to Ireland’s financial services minister Michael D‘Arcy “Dublin’s financial services sector is being boosted by banks, insurers and Asset Managers in London who are applying for licenses for a new EU hub in the Irish capital to serve customers in the bloc after Britain leaves in 2019”. The most popular location for top Asset Managers and Investment Banks has been Dublin this has been due to a few factors; Low tax incentives, cost of living is cheaper, funds not needing passports- which is the main reason for relocating out of London, standard of education is high and there is no communication or time zone issues.
Within the Regulatory change environment, the sole focus has been on MiFID 2 and with the deadline rapidly approaching in Jan/February time this is putting significant pressure in regards to the research costings and strategy that will need to be in place in order to go live. However, a common theme when talking to our clients was the MiFID team will be transferring into the Brexit space due to the deadline coinciding with the start of Brexit Projects.
A significant area of growth within new roles that have been released has been within the technology sector. According to Deloitte, the rate of change and the level of disruption driven by modern technology are exponential. The technology sector has continued to show significant grow with a lot of focus on the Fintech and hedge fund industry particularly on the junior end of the market.
We have seen a strong correlation with candidates within change and technology. There has been particular system knowledge which has been key; OMS, SQL and Java skills. There has been a particular growth in demand within mid range roles ranging from 60-75k mark with top consultancies seeking career progression and keen to work in house providing ample supply..
Towards the end of Q4 there was significant demand for Data Business Analysts to make sense of the complex data regulation such as GDPR as well as improving the overall data quality being offered to the end client. Robotic programmes have started to have an impact on the data generated for clients and the speed that it is being delivered.
We anticipate that that there will continue to be a demand for technology change individuals. The Fintech industry is becoming an increasingly significant disruptor to the FS sector, as they are able to innovate at a far faster pace than incumbents due to the particular focus on the technology industry as opposed to the business side.
There will also be a demand for GDPR specialists, due to the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will become enforceable from May 25th, 2018 and will deeply affect not only the way you manage personal data but has the potential to revolutionise your Customer Relationship Management. This will be a large area of change within the regulatory environment which will run alongside the Brexit Programmes.
MOVERS AND SHAKERS
There has been huge demand for Contractors in the MiFID 2 space towards the end of Q4, they were brought in on 3 months’ contract to finish off the MiFID projects as they needed more hands on deck in order to go live before the deadline. However more recently there has been a demand in the wealth space for individuals with digital platforms knowledge such as D2C and retail websites. This is an area where there is growing specialised talent.
Coutts have made 10% of the business redundant just before the Christmas period due to cost cutting which has been an advantage for the other wealth managers looking to grow their BA team.
(Goodbye Banks) – “Reports show 40% of Americans have not stepped through the doors of a bank or credit union within the last six months. In fact, if you’ve had a difficult time finding a local branch lately, there’s good reason. The number of physical banks has dropped by almost half from 1995 to 2017 — largely due to the rise of online and mobile banking.” (Financial Times)
BRUIN recently held an event in partnership with The 30% Club and Women Ahead, a diversity mentoring specialist at M&G’s offices. This event was held in November to explore the innovative strategies being used by firms to attract and retain women in City and address the challenge of gender imbalance within financial services, with over 100 financial services professionals in attendance. This event complemented another recent event held at M&G’s offices focusing on Women Returners for the Diversity Project, for which BRUIN is represented on the Steering Committee.
In November we hosted a Brexit breakfast seminar with guest speaker Tara Doyle – Partner from Matheson, to discuss the challenges that Asset Managers would face with a potential hard Brexit. We also talked about the challenges and steps needed to establish an EU ManCo in Dublin or elsewhere. It was interesting to see how a lot of managers had already kicked off projects to set up new fund structures as well as domiciling funds in new jurisdictions and start conversations about re-location or part re-location of front office teams. Please get in touch if you would like to hear about further events on this theme.