Q1 was a busy quarter, particularly on the Asset Management side, but with Banks continuing their demand for candidates in areas with specific, hard to find knowledge/skills and regulatory roles. Overall it was a positive quarter compared to the second half of 2016 as Banks and Asset Managers began to progress with hiring strategies put in place since the results of the EU referendum. We also saw a number of senior operations roles from around £150,000 to £200,000 due to internal movements and strategic hires.
On the Banking side, a number of clients have been using temporary headcount as an interim solution whilst planning to convert these to permanent contracts in the coming months. We also saw companies move permanent headcount onto regulatory projects on a secondment basis and hire contract headcount to backfill the BAU line roles. Contract hiring was also the solution for many clients who were still uncertain about what Brexit may unfold.
On the candidate side increased confidence in the market has resulted in a great number of candidates seeking new roles, especially once bonuses had been paid. In particular, banking candidates seemed to be received lower bonuses than that of previous years, but more banks have increased their base salaries by way of off setting total compensation. From the contract market perspective we saw good candidates in highly demanded areas, especially collateral and regulatory reform, with counter and multiple offers for the best candidates. This has led to significant competition for top talent and daily rates have increased as a result. .
Areas of particular activity in on the Asset Management side were collateral, derivatives and corporate actions/dividends. Asset Managers hired into their collateral teams as the Uncleared Margin rules came into effect in February. Derivatives trade support was another area that Asset Managers looked to hire in Q1 with EMIR/regulatory knowledge being in demand. We also saw multiple roles in both Corporate Actions and Dividends. On the Banking side the regulatory area was busy, especially in the Recovery and Resolution Planning area as Banks looking to build out in-house teams.
In the contracting market we saw the bulk of work come in the Collateral space due to the same regulation mentioned above where some banks had multiple headcount in this space. MiFID II being a key regulation clients sought for SMEs in this space, but also were open to Middle Office experts with strong derivatives knowledge as an alternative. When we were working on EMIR/Dodd Frank roles in previous years clients were open to junior candidates with 1-3 years experience, but with MiFID II hiring clients have been looking for more experienced senior candidates.
Going into Q2 we expect more candidates will be on the look out for their next challenge, though with more jobs on the market the top candidates will come off the market quickly. To get the best talent companies will need to have a fast process to avoid losing out to competitors. With clients looking for similar specific knowledge in certain areas we expect the market to be very candidate driven.