From the implementation of new, large and cumbersome regulatory framework (e.g. MiFID II, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Common Reporting Standard), uncertainty about Brexit, and ever more unpredictable markets, buy-side and sell-side Operations functions are having to respond to increasingly wide and varied challenges.
In addition to this is the complicated relationship the financial services industry has with outsourcing, and a notable push towards streamlining technology which aims to remove and replace outdated workflows, manual processes, and the allocation of trust. What is apparent however, is that banks and asset managers appear to be responding with a clear agenda that is evident in the requirements released to BRUIN’s Operations team over the last 6 months.
Over the year, there has been a steady flow of opportunities within Asset Managers and Investment Banks. The US Asset Managers in particular mainly looking for mid to entry level candidates with a wide operations background such as pricing, corporate actions and valuations. On the Banking side, the trend for hire remains to be professionals with specific product / system knowledge from Analyst to Associate levels.
The candidate market has proven to be slightly restricted with Middle Office professionals not looking to move away from their current roles unless a Front Office opportunity comes available or clear progression is available. Top tier calibre candidates are highly competitive and are often facing counter offers or rate increases on both permanent and contracting markets.
Throughout Q2 we have seen a fair few Middle Office / Trade Support roles across both buy and sell side. OTC derivative knowledge is still seemingly in high demand and with a shortage of candidates in this field, the strong candidates have found themselves with multiple offers on the table. The firms successful in securing these candidates have been those willing to speed up the hiring process or offer a more attractive salary than their competitors.
Asset Servicing is another area that has seen an increase in the number of roles released. These roles have predominantly been within the large
Investment Banks, whom have been looking to hire on an initial contract basis. The firms who have made the most hires in this space are those who willing to consider candidates whom have been in the market a long time. This is due to a shortage of new candidates earlier in their career gaining the relevant experience.
We were instructed on a significant number of requirements by Asset Managers within the Data Management space, more specifically within reference data. A lot of clients recruited at the Analyst level, preferably looking for candidates with one to two years’ experience within buy side firms – experience which is in high demand. This led to competition for the best candidates with some vacancies staying open for longer than intended. There were also demand for more senior candidates and SMEs, of which there were few top quality candidates in the market.
During Q3 you might expect the level of hiring to drop, with hiring managers on annual leave etc. however, with initial plans for the UK to leave the EU in March next year, a lot of firms will be looking to have their Brexit programmes wrapped up with time to spare.
As a result, we anticipate there will continue to be a lot of movement of BAU professionals moving into project work and firms backfilling these roles with contractors, or sometimes new permanent employees. The rate at which this will happen is hard to tell, with Brexit being so unpredictable, but the number of vacancies opening as a result of Brexit is likely to remain high for the duration of Q3 at least. This should certainly outweigh any decrease in hiring due to the nature of the summer months keeping us and our competition on our toes.
BRUIN were recently awarded the ‘Recruiter of the Year’ category at the 2018 Women in Finance Awards, which recognises the firm that has championed equal pay and diversity in financial recruitment. BRUIN was particularly commended for leading change in the industry and providing insightful counsel to help their clients achieve fair gender representation at every level.
From a recruitment perspective, BRUIN has recently opened an office in Dublin in partnership with local firm Barden, to provide high quality specialist recruitment services into the Irish financial services sector. For more information on our Irish capability, please contact Kirsty Pineger, who heads up our Investment & Middle Office desk, as well as our team in Ireland.
We are also delighted to have been recognised by the Sunday Times as a Best 100 Small Company to Work For in the UK, and additionally ranked in the list for London.