Market Overviews

Operations Market Commentary, Q1 2015

• Article by BRUIN Financial

Operations Market Commentary, Q1 2015


Q1 for 2015 has been a varied quarter in Operations, with the permanent market not as busy as expected whilst the temporary sector was quite fluid.  Hiring freezes in some large institutions were lifted later than expected this year whilst firms that were recruiting appeared to be using the direct sourcing approach. This changed towards the latter part of the quarter where they did reach out more to external providers. Temporary positions were steadily released on the sell side during the course of last quarter with some clients hiring on a high volume basis. The buy side however did see a lot of movement both in the temporary and permanent markets throughout the quarter.

Counter and multiple offers have been a trend for the last two quarters however we have seen an upsurge of this in Q1, particularly in the contract market. There are several factors to consider that could have caused this, primary reasons being the lack of top tier talent and firms wanting to retain their best employees.

Clients with long recruitment processes have significantly suffered from counter offers as opposed to those with streamlined methods. In some cases this has resulted in firms needing to be more flexible in terms of the profile of candidates they seek, as these individuals are less likely to have multiple offers.

Daily rates on the contract side have seen a slight increase compared to Q1 last year as the market becomes more candidate driven.


As hiring freezes have now lifted and with new budgets in place we expect Q2 volumes to increase across the permanent and temporary markets. We expect this to result in firms reaching out more to agencies as opposed to the direct approach they adopted earlier in the year.

A number of institutions released their bonuses towards the latter stages of Q1 which resulted in new candidates looking for opportunities mainly on the Banking side. We anticipate this to remain throughout Q2. We will continue to see movement in the regulatory space with line managers across Banks and Investment Managers making this a primary focus. An increasing number of employers have started moving staff internally into regulatory projects and backfilling many of the BAU requirements contractors; we predict his trend to continue throughout Q2.

As salaries become competitive moving towards more of a candidate driven market, firms must move quickly during the recruitment process to secure high calibre talent and to prevent counter offers.

We expect a buoyant market in operations this quarter leading up to summer Q3 where the market tends to quieten down generally due to the summer months.


The introduction of new regulations has seen an increasing demand for candidates with relevant knowledge especially within EMIR. This has been more evident on the Investment Banking side as a number of firms have had multiple headcount for one role function. An example of this was with one Bank who looked to hire 24 contractors for a single function in the regulatory space.

As dividend season approached, many organisations started ramping up their Asset Servicing teams at the beginning of the year to ensure their staff members were fully trained and ready for the busy period. Although the majority of recruitment for this started late last year we still saw quite some movement in January 2015.

There has been a considerable increase in roles across the Collateral Management space in most Banks both on the contract and permanent side, with some institutions expected to have multiple headcounts of up to 20 contractors in the area.

There has been an increased number of roles within Reference Data Management, Trade Support, Clearing and Primary Loans Closing. Employers have generally demanded more candidates from an OTC background particularly within Equities, Interest Rates and Credit who also have an understanding of regulations such as EMIR, DODD Frank and MiFID.

This variety of roles has resulted in an overall positive end to the first quarter for this year and has led up to an optimistic start to Q2 2015.