Finance & Accountancy

Finance & Accounting Market Commentary, Q3 2014

• Article by BRUIN Financial

Finance & Accounting Market Commentary, Q3 2014

Market Overview
Hiring in the Investment Banking sector turned a corner in Q1 and continued to gain momentum throughout Q2, with Asset Management remaining stable. The general theme over the last few years has been to off-shore or at least near-shore the bulk of the production and administrational functions, and as a result the majority of the Investment Banks have been busy trying to redeploy as many people as possible. In most cases these processes have finished and the dust has settled, allowing line managers to focus on bring a few new people into the organisations.

The market has been very candidate driven; Finance within banking has changed significant in the last three years and as a result expectations are now much higher, even for the more junior members of the team. The days have long gone when the bulk of finance roles were process orientated, now it is very much about adding value. Finance teams here in London are also now much smaller (due to the off/near shoring) and it is fair to say that the roles we are now working on, regardless of level, are strategic hires.

Within the Asset Management space we have seen a steady flow of roles come through. Again, production/ operational based roles are being offshored and interestingly many third party administrators are also offshoring core functions of their business to India and other countries. Many Asset Managers however have been increasing head count and this is generally at the more junior/ middle level. There have not been many senior roles in this space over the last quarter.

As a general overview across both Investment Banking and Asset Management, we have seen the market remain steady over the last three months when historically the market drops off over the summer period. Good candidates in the market will usually be involved in several job applications and interview processes. We have seen competitive bidding between firms to secure candidates and strong counter offers to retain talent, in marked contrast to this time last year.

Role Profiles
The majority of the banks are predominately hiring for junior candidates including graduates with one or two years’ experience, newly qualified accountants and junior AVP level individuals.

Historically, most of the banks were good at growing their own talent pools from various graduate and ACA programs, but these have been severely reduced in numbers over the last two or three years. As a result, there appears to be a skills gap emerging at the junior level, which has driven demand for high quality candidates, particularly here in London

It is fair to say that there is now a healthy stream of vacancies from most of the investment banks at this level but the requirements are quite strategic and the bar of expectation has been set quite high.

We expect job volumes to remain stable with many firms looking to have people in the door before Christmas; typically this will taper off into December.

We are positive about the last quarter of 2014 but expect the market to remain heavily candidate led, as demand outweighs supply.

Market Moves

  • The trend for nearshoring the Finance department within the major banks continues.
  • RBS are near-shoring their Finance Function to Edinburgh. The expectation is that approximately 80 roles will be moved in the process.
  • UBS meanwhile have offshored 80% of their Product Control function.