Q2 was an incredibly busy period in the contract market, with a lot of Banks either seeking to backfill vacancies left by departing employees or assemble teams for upcoming projects. As predicted, a lot of these projects have been cost related, with an emphasis placed on process streamlining and efficiency. We have also seen roles released at a variety of levels, ranging from analyst level up to VP.
On the permanent side it was essentially the same in terms of volume of roles coming onto the market. There has been a recent rise in the number of Analyst/AVP level positions with firms looking to develop and expand on the already existing skills of a candidate, for example, a newly qualified candidate going into a role which expands his specific product knowledge. Largely the most sought after candidates in the market are for PnL positions at the Associate/AVP level . This has been a real struggle in terms of new talent coming through in this area due to the large amount of off-shoring done across the city with in Product Control several years ago.
Another two hot areas within Investment Banks are for Regulatory and Treasury candidates. Overall, the market is very good in terms of the number of positions out there but the issue lies with the lack of strong candidates with the necessary skills or candidates wanting to stay within the same field of Accountancy.
We are predicting that hiring in the contract market will slow down as we go through the summer period, owing to the fact that managers involved in the hiring process will be on holiday et cetera.
On the permanent side we feel the number of roles on the market will slow up slightly and leave us with hard to fill positions due to the lack of candidates with the required skill set.
There has been a recent increase in the number of fund accounting related roles. Technical skills are still very high in demand- qualified candidates with SORP knowledge are very highly regarded in the market.
Business Partnering and MI roles have also been far more prevalent than in the previous quarter, with an emphasis placed on financial modelling and VBA skills. These roles have been released at a variety of levels, particularly in the contracting area.
A trend that has continued to develop over the past quarter is product control being split into two separate areas and roles. One role requires a more technical skillset- focussing more on the risk attributed to different products. These roles require prior knowledge of the Greeks, and often ask for candidates to have strong system skills (VBA, SQL etc.). The other requires candidates with a strong accounting background with an understanding of products. These roles place more emphasis on accounting fundamentals and the commentary of the PnL rather than pure PnL production.
On the permanent side of Investment Banking we’re seeing high demand for PnL, Regulatory, Treasury, and FP&A candidates all within the Associate/AVP level. Within the Product Control/PnL space we’re seeing a high demand of candidates with an Accounting qualification, a few years experience within Financial Services, and the desire/capacity to learn and add value. Most of the positions within PnL are seeking candidates with strong analytical skills rather than production as a lot of work has either been offshored or near shored. There is the same demand for Regulatory and Treasury candidates as in Q1 with the necessary technical skills especially within Liquidity. Overall, the most sought after candidates are not only the ones who can do the work but can fully understand the reasoning behind it. As a lot of companies within London are having/had their production outsourced and are looking for candidates to add value and have the ability to challenge and improve processes.