Insights

Market Overviews

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q1 2018

• Article by BRUIN Financial

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q1 2018

MARKET OVERVIEW

After a successful year in 2017, hiring from both Asset Management and Investment banking industries remained constant towards the end of Q4, which was a positive indicator for Q1 2018.

With bonuses coming in throughout this quarter, some candidates became available for new opportunities just after receiving their bonuses; others found that they were particularly pleased and were only willing to seek progression internally.

BREXIT has been a key area in this quarter, and it will continue as negotiations are carried out. Some clients are targeting to reallocate their operations towards low cost locations whereas others are sourcing their operations in-house.

The temporary side of the operations market continues to grow. Q4 has proven that some organisations have had the confidence in creating new functions as well as expanding their teams. There has been a main focus on regulations and systems such as Aladdin as organisations are now focusing on the remediation and implementation procedures.

Lastly, as markets thrive, organisations are constantly hiring. However, there has been a shortage for candidates that are looking to progress due to uncertainty. Top calibre candidates who are looking to move are facing multiple offers and counter offers, and are able to secure opportunities quicker.

 

ROLE PROFILES

With MIFID II going live and Brexit around the corner, candidates in the regulatory reporting space are in high demand, and regulatory knowledge is becoming more valuable throughout almost all areas of operations.

Operational departments are finding they require their current BAU employees to pitch into regulatory remediation and strategic projects. This has seen an increase in operational oversight roles and in particular; the demand for candidates with some previous project exposure, whom will be competent in adding value to these projects.

As in Q4 last year, we saw an increase in the demand for senior operational candidates. This again, is fuelled by the importance of regulatory remediation and strategic projects, with previous occupants of these roles transitioning into this space.

Candidates with Derivatives knowledge have again been highly sought after. With continued demand for their services, firms recruiting in this area have seen the top candidates snapped up quickly. This is also the case with loans candidates. With loans having increasing prominence within certain portfolios’, we have seen buy-side firms considering strong loans candidates from a banking background, further increasing the need for these candidates.

Lastly – with dividend season approaching, we saw increased volume within Asset Servicing. With many major Investment Banks offshoring their Asset Servicing teams, this increase was not necessarily as noticeable as in years gone by. It did however, have a significant impact on the availability of candidates within this space, resulting in many candidates making the move between competitor banks.

 

PREDICTIONS

We have already started to see the volume of roles increasing in the contract and permanent space. Historically this happens at this time of year of course because bonuses have been collected, however the dialogue are clients are using, is that many roles have been created through a more aggressive business strategy and internal promotions

The difficulties this quarter are likely to be presented by candidates who are looking to test the water or to use interview processes to help bolster their base salaries at their current employer. However these individuals are more often than not weeded out of the process at the initial Bruin registration.

All in all we envisage this quarter to be both busy and productive – candidates who are in demand (no matter what the role) tend to have multiple offers, so never has the partnership between agency and the hiring team been more important to ensure the candidate is left with positive feelings towards a company. Sometimes the final decision/ acceptance of an offer is based not on the best financial package but the feeling they are left with having gone through ‘the process’.

 

WOMEN FINANCIAL SERVICES

Q1 of 2018 saw a number of Financial Services firms publish their Gender Pay Gap reports. One prevalent conclusion to come out of the reports is that although firms are rewarding equal work with equal pay, there are some considerable pay and bonus gaps in the industry. The key issue is the lower representation of women in leadership roles and roles of a revenue generating nature. This imbalance means that the mean gender pay gap across the companies is high, with fewer women in roles which attract higher bonuses.

New measures are being mooted to increase the representation of women in senior roles, one of which is refining the recruitment processes for all roles to produce diverse shortlists. BRUIN’s Consultants are all trained in recognising Unconscious Bias, and run similar workshops for our clients, more information on which can be provided by one of our Consultants.