Insights

Market Overviews

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2018

• Article by BRUIN Financial

OPERATIONS MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2018

MARKET OVERVIEW

With the long, sunny days of the summer months behind us, we look back on how the hot topic of Brexit and all of its implications affected Financial Recruitment within the Operations area. Typically the summer months signal a slow down in activity  in which one would expect the volume of roles to decrease. This was not the case this year, with Q3 producing a fairly steady flow of vacancies.

A lot of Asset Managers are now growing their presence in Europe and we have moved with this as a firm, offering our services in order to help clients hire across the continent. Dublin, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Zurich, Warsaw and Paris are just some examples of locations across Europe where we have seen an increased volume of roles as a result of firms safeguarding against possible Brexit effects. This effect tends to be larger within operational teams, as there was a push for outsourcing in this area even before Brexit. However due to its unpredictable nature this does make way for a variety of other roles which may not before have been necessary.

Across the contracting market we have seen a fairly steady flow of roles as predicted, but with a large proportion of these roles as a result of temporary covers rather than extra head count within contracting teams. This has added a contradicting nature to a lot of roles, with the need to fill them quickly but the process inevitably moving slowly.

Another foreseen market trend off the back of Brexit, has been the need to backfill vacancies left open from BAU staff moving into project work, usually with contractors. Due to the disjointed nature of hiring in the summer months this has proved challenging, with candidates finding themselves with offers from multiple roles.

 

ROLE PROFILES

We saw more senior and head of roles come through in the operations area which was likely due to more movement at the senior end after the bonus period window in Q2. There was also a high volume of data focussed roles in Q3 across reference data, client and fund data, data governance and market data. We have seen roles across all levels and newly created positions as companies look to take the importance of data more seriously.

We saw some additional hires being made into the equities middle office area into second tier banks this quarter, this also caused replacement hires in the area at the larger top tier banks as candidates moved to more varied roles. We saw hiring across both cash equities and equity derivatives.

Derivatives knowledge has again been in demand for Asset Managers hiring in their middle office/trade support area. In particular, candidates with good regulatory knowledge and projects experience on top were highly sought after.

It has been evident that Brexit has driven the need for more oversight professionals at a slightly more senior level, with a lot of junior process oriented positions being pushed out of London. There is not a wealth of candidates in this space, so clients have compromised by considering candidates who may not necessarily have direct oversight experience, but have a very strong understanding and working knowledge of the required function.

 

PREDICTIONS

The start of Q4 has been extremely busy in the Operations market. Usually one would expect that this trend will continue throughout the majority of the quarter, on both buy and sell side, and then tend to plateau towards Christmas. However, with Brexit just around the corner it is hard to know is how that will all pan out.

Roles in this space have changed throughout time with technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics entering the scene. This trend will continue and most of the time, BAU roles will have an element of change and process automation.

We anticipate the contracting market will stay busy until the end of the year as hiring managers usually aim to use up as much of their budget as possible and not roll over into the New Year.  With that in mind, we expect a buoyant market in Operations in Q4 with counteroffers a common trend.