Insights

Finance & Accountancy

FINANCE MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2019

• Article by BRUIN Financial

FINANCE MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2019

MARKET OVERVIEW

In Q3, The Finance & Accounting market has shown a continuance of what we saw over the first two quarters of the year, especially in the permanent market, with Buy-Side firms more actively looking to hire in comparison to Sell-Side. In contrast, the Contract market has seen more demand within Investment Banking.  As always, processes during Q3 have been more disrupted with a number of key decision makers taking their summer holidays.

Our Asset Management clients have been looking to hire a number of senior candidates at VP level and above, with salaries on offer ranging from £70k to £100k. Recruitment in general was a lot more diversified on the Buy-Side, as clients sought Financial Control, FP&A, Business Partnering and Internal Audit professionals. Comparatively, the Contract market saw more activity in the Investment Banking space with high demand for candidates at the junior to mid-experience levels for positions within Financial Control, Financial Reporting and Regulatory Reporting space.

The market has continued its demand for Newly Qualified ACAs from practice, with FP&A and Business Partnering opportunities on the permanent side. These opportunities appeal to a lot of newly qualified candidates as they are more commercial than the Financial Reporting roles they are usually presented with. The contract market also saw an influx of newly qualified ACAs on Tier 5 Youth Mobility Visas over Q3, who both Asset Management and Investment Banking clients were keen to attract with roles frequently being released in various areas, including FP&A, Financial Reporting, Fund Accounting and Regulatory Reporting.

In the wake of SMCR, we have seen an increase in movement at the senior end of Finance functions, with firms looking to secure senior talent. A lot of experienced candidates are also conscious about whether their current role will fall under SMCR, which again is resulting in activity at this level. This has been apparent across mid-sized US based Asset Managers, with the need for senior individuals to take accountability for London based teams.

The Contract market has seen some changes over Q3 as the IR35 deadline approaches. Day rate roles have continued to be released, however there has been a marked increase in the number of Fixed Term Contracts as firms have began to make arrangements in advance of April 2020.

 

ROLE PROFILES

In the permanent market, we have seen increased activity from the Buy-Side within Financial Control in Q3, with firms seeking a range of candidates from Junior Part/Newly-Qualified Accountants to Senior FD/CFO level. Big 4 ACA qualified candidates remain in demand for these positions,  however we have seen firms more open to Top 20 practice candidates than in previous years.

The Contract market has seen a high volume of roles in the External Reporting space with vacancies being released focusing on Bank of England Reporting Statutory Reporting and Capital Reporting.  For these roles, most of our clients sought qualified accountants with 3-5 years experience and ideally candidates with an Audit background. Additionally, our clients released a more complex base of roles requiring specific systems experience and niche backgrounds within Regulatory Reporting or Technical Accounting, offering day rates ranging from £500 to £850 per day.

We saw demand for FP&A and Business Partnering candidates continue in Q3, across both the Buy & Sell-Side, with a preference for candidates with exposure to Revenue functions. Firms have been looking for candidates at different levels, ranging from the £50k-£60k bracket for Newly Qualified candidates from practice, to mid-senior at a salary range of £70k-£95k and the most senior candidates seeking north of £100k. Across both the contract and permanent markets, junior candidates with advanced technical skills in specific software and Excel were in high demand.

The Internal Audit market has remained active, with both Asset Managers and Investment Banks looking to strengthen their teams. In Q2, there was an increase in demand for Auditors with niche experience and Q3 saw that trend continue with firms looking for candidates with knowledge of Risk and specific regulations such as SOX and CASS at the medium to senior level.

In both the permanent and contract markets we observed few core Fund Accounting roles with clients expressing more interest for candidates with Third Party Administrator Oversight experience as these functions continue to be offshored. To further this, candidates with knowledge of various fund structures such as Luxembourg based Funds and Irish Funds continue to be highly desirable.

The Regulatory space remained active on the Temp side, seeing a bias towards candidates with solid Capital reporting experience over Liquidity reporting. Our Investment Banking clients offered day rates ranging from £400-£700, depending on the complexity of the role. There has not been a huge amount of movement in the Regulatory space on a permanent basis, with few firms looking to hire in these teams.

 

PREDICTIONS

Q4 usually starts off fairly busy across all areas, with holiday season over and decision makers back at their desks, as ongoing processes from Q3 get wrapped up and firms pushing to hire before things start slowing down over the Christmas period. This effect is particularly pronounced in Finance functions, with year end reporting approaching in Q1 the following year.

We expect continued demand for Newly Qualified candidates, especially those with Financial Services audit experience, due to them looking to secure roles in industry before year end reporting hits. A large proportion of these candidates continue to favour firms that offer commercially orientated roles over those with the main emphasis being on Financial Reporting.

In the Contract space, we expect to see a higher volume of roles being released as Fixed Term Contracts instead of Day Rates as firms begin to prepare for the implementation of the IR35 legislation at the start of Q2 next year.

 

BRUIN News

BRUIN is delighted to have won the Deloitte Diversity & Inclusion Award at the TIARA 2019 awards and were commended by the judges for “incorporating D&I initiatives into their recruitment process, the broad range of diversity & inclusion initiatives they are involved with, and the high level of visibility in their market”.

 

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For more information about the market or current opportunities please contact one of our Consultants.