Insights

Market Overviews

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q2 2019

• Article by BRUIN Financial

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q2 2019

MARKET OVERVIEW

In the second quarter of 2019 we saw a significant increase in job flow compared to Q1. With uncertainty around BREXIT, firms in general were more hesitant to start recruiting at the beginning of the year in comparison to previous years. However, with hiring managers pushing for headcount in teams, more approvals to hire started to come through.

Smaller to mid-sized Investment Management firms were faster acting and tended to be more flexible on hiring so we saw a large volume of roles through from these clients. Large Banks have in general been more cautious with their approach to hiring this year and have tended to only look for essential replacement to their headcount. This has lessened in Q2, but is still apparent when comparing hiring to previous years.

After the majority of bonuses were paid out we saw the usual large increase in candidates open to new jobs in the market, and hence much more movement. Due to the delay in getting approvals, when roles have been released in Q2 firms have been very eager to wrap up the processes quickly. As a result, the highest calibre candidates were not in the market for long and the firms who were successful in securing these candidates were the ones with the fastest and most engaging processes.

The contracting market has again been fairly buoyant for a number of reasons. As in Q1, some firms were initially backfilling into BAU teams as a result of extra workload due to BREXIT.

This pattern tended to tail off towards the end of the quarter, and a lot of contracting roles arose due to increased headcount. With approvals and processes for contracting hires generally being quicker, some clients whose teams may have been under strain due to hiring delays opted to hire contractors where historically they may have hired a permanent employee. Some clients have advertised these roles as temp to perm opportunities; however, other clients have been hesitant to do so as they are still looking to be cautious with their budget moving forward.

 

ROLE PROFILES

In the last quarter, we experienced a large increase of roles within the regulatory space,  with specific requirements on experienced professionals with strong knowledge of MiFID II legislative frameworks

that became effective from 3rd January last year and also in part of the preparation for the Securities Financing Transactions Regulations (SFTR) which is due to go live during Q2 in 2020. These additional hires ranged from junior to supervisor /manager level, and it was noticeable that candidates with good reporting and projects experience were particularly highly sought after.

Data Governance & Data Management have always been extremely busy areas and the last few months have been no exception. Hiring requirements range from junior analyst roles to more complex performance, asset and statistical data specialist roles. We also saw some firms hiring heads of these functions across both the permanent and contract markets.

We saw a high and consistent volume of Derivatives Oversight/Middle office roles across the quarter. Asset Managers seem to be adding headcounts in this area to strengthen their expertise in certain products and to raise functional efficiency. We have seen an influx of roles, on a contract basis, from our Asset Management clients within the fund administration space. The key requirements for these positions have been knowledge of where funds are domiciled, and how this can effect regulation around them. This is as a result of firms ensuring they are planning for any effects that Brexit is and may be having.

We have also seen a sharp increase in senior hires within Asset Management and Private Equity firms at head of and senior manager level with annual salaries ranging between £100K to 150K+.

 

PREDICTIONS

Historically, the volume of roles do not tend to decrease throughout Q3, however, there are certain challenges that the summer months do bring. With both hiring managers and candidates often going on holiday, processes can be more dragged out and less smooth than usual.

This can lead to complications in keeping the strong candidates engaged, and often firms miss out on star candidates as a result. This effect tends to be exaggerated in the contract market. This is because what would usually be short interview processes, can become longer than usual, and hence candidates can be in multiple processes at once.

We are expecting to continue seeing roles with more niche requirements, due to increased pressure to make teams leaner. Firms are therefore looking for candidates who can add value, not just day to day, but also when it comes to improving efficiencies and so graduate candidates coming through who are more tech savvy will likely be in a strong position.

Coming up next quarter we are also hosting a breakfast seminar around the future of Asset Management chaired by Olivia Vinden, Head of Fintech and Innovation for Alpha FMC. As there is more and more innovation in the industry due to Fintech firms, we are looking at the future of Asset Management, how they will operate and how to keep up in a competitive market. This is being held on Thursday the 26th of September – please let us know if this may be of interest to attend.

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For more information about the market or current opportunities please contact one of our Consultants.