Firms face up to ‘challenge’ of attracting female staff
Article published on 24 August 2017
By Anna Devine
The following text is a transcript of a portion of a speaker’s presentation made at an industry conference or during an interview. This transcript solely represents the view of the individual who spoke, and not the view of Ignites Europe or any other group.
Source: Ignites Europe, 22 Aug. 2017
Anna Devine, reporter, Ignites Europe:
Hello and welcome back to Ignites Europe. I’m joined by Kirsty Pineger, Head of Asset Management at BRUIN Financial.
Kirsty Pineger, Head of Asset and Wealth Management, BRUIN Financial:
Kirsty, could you tell us a little bit about the trends you’re seeing in asset management recruitment?
Absolutely. So at the beginning of this year I think the major trend was for a lot of asset managers to be recruiting brand new roles into the market; roles that we haven’t actually seen for quite a while.
The second half of this year has been a bit more focused on replacement hiring. Obviously, as people have started moving within the industry, we’re now looking to backfill a number of those positions.
It’s been really busy across the board: roles within the regulation space, compliance, product development, and anything client facing. So that’s either servicing relationship management or asset gathering as well. So, busy.
And what are the most in-demand skills at present?
I think definitely the compliance space. The regulatory space is key to most of our clients at the moment, so compliance continues to be a huge-volume recruiter.
I think, again, within the client-centric space candidates need to be really technical. So we’ve seen a big push for a lot of firms to hire people with really strong technical fixed income abilities, and then again, within the asset gathering space as well.
Has Brexit changed the hiring landscape at all?
Not really. I think we were kind of expecting something to happen. At the back end of last year it was really quiet, but actually after the referendum we did see a huge pick-up in recruitment, which has continued this year. I think for a lot of our clients it continues to be business as usual, because until a decision is made or anything actually happens, people are just continuing with what they’ve been doing day to day.
Also, because the regulatory landscape is so vast and so important at the moment with things like Mifid II coming into play, a lot of our clients have got a lot to do within that space before the end of the year as well. So no, not really.
The other thing that has happened, which I guess you could maybe attribute to Brexit, is that we are seeing more roles being hired out of Luxembourg, but that’s not actually at the expense of London. It’s actually to support the London efforts. So positive, I guess, but nothing sort of concrete that you could directly attribute to it.
And what are the greatest challenges that asset managers face at present with recruitment?
So I think for a lot of companies at the moment, the major one is really gender diversity. A lot of our clients this year have really worked with us to engage more females into the marketplace, and they’re really looking to close that gap at the senior female end. Obviously off the back of that I think that will address the gender pay gap that a lot of our firms are working around at the moment.
But I think for a lot of clients, we are seeing a bit more of a push to find balanced short lists and presenting more female candidates. It is tough because there aren’t huge amounts in certain areas, so a lot of our clients are also having to work around engaging more junior-level candidates at the graduate level – maybe one to two years – really trying to attract more females into the marketplace at that grassroots level to address, I guess, the senior hiring needs in the future as well.
So are a lot of asset managers doing this at present?
Yes, absolutely. I think a lot of firms are looking at technology, ways that they can engage with the workforce in its entirety. Because again when you’re hiring people they do need a more flexible working environment, whether they’re returning to work after maternity leave or returning after a gap, having been out of the industry for a few years.
So for a lot of our clients they are trying to do more to allow people to work flexibly, agile from home, compressed hours. All the things that we never really saw previously within the world of asset management recruitment, it’s now becoming quite a major factor for a lot of our clients.
And what are the greatest challenges that asset management professionals themselves face in terms of recruitment?
Sure. I think for candidates, at the moment, it is a hugely competitive marketplace. I think one of the biggest challenges is that a lot of our clients, when they’re coming to market with roles, they’re not the sort of standard positions that we used to see. They want sort of a huge blend of skills that don’t always necessarily exist in the market, and they are being very picky when they are recruiting, especially at the senior level, which is understandable.
So I think candidates need to upskill in some ways. It’s either becoming more familiar with some of the regulatory things that are coming into play. It’s also being able to work in a changing, an uncertain environment, if you like.
But also, there is more competition as well. From the Brexit side of things, we are seeing more banking candidates coming to market who are interested [in asset management], so it does bring sort of new challenges to, I guess, asset management candidates as well.
Thank you, Kirsty.