Brexit and Regulatory change has continued to be the main headlines in the Projects and Change space for Q1, with firms making plans to streamline jobs in London and build up recruitment in EU locations. Meanwhile, bonuses have generated movement in the market and job flow is increasing as we move into Q2.
Regulatory change is a key area where we are seeing roles, which is not unexpected. Firms are closing down their MiFID II programmes and streamlining resources; either moving people on to GDPR or discontinuing contracts. SMCR is also on the horizon, with many firms looking for candidates who will be able to come in to tackle GDPR and stay on.
In terms of Brexit, roles are appearing but not necessarily at the rate anticipated as few firms are investing large amount of resources in this area. When it comes to assembling Brexit teams it is quality as opposed to quantity of dedicated resources. Brexit related movement is felt more in the increase in roles in alternative locations to London. Luxembourg has been one of the top destinations for Asset Managers with many of our London clients asking for intel on the market.
Other trends are emerging in the market with many Asset and Wealth Managers seeking new ways to innovate. The top skills clients currently want to see on a candidate’s CV are Robotics Process Automation (RPA) or Intelligent Automation. This will enable firms to reduce human intervention in more mundane, repetitive and manually intensive processes. There were a few firms ahead of the curve resulting in a few candidates who have enough experience and time in their previous position to justify a move. However, candidates in this space remain at a premium although it seems firms are willing to be competitive with salary.
On the wealth side, clients are becoming more astute about financial planning and they are seeking digital capabilities and strong advisory options as technology continues to be at the fore front of every firms innovation strategy to improve customer and client experience, it has been shown from research that some top wealth managers will team up with Fintechs to collaborate with their technologies to seek that competitive advantage. Ultimately, the wealth management industry is becoming as competitive as ever and we have seen a significant demand in resources compared to Q4.
Looking forward to Q2 and beyond, the market is picking up. Bonuses have spurred on market movement but so has the drive to self promote. A common reason why candidates look to leave is because they cannot see a clear route for progression in their current firm. One way to battle this issue for firms is to allow these candidates to recruit people into their team below them. Without having to make room at the top this method allows firms to promote employees; a key way to keep top talent. Investment in staff, by financial services firms, is steadily increasing after taking a hit after the Brexit vote.
Moreover, new IR35 regulations coming in have contributed to a drive to make contractors permanent or create permanent positions which were once contract. Offering competitive enough permanent salaries to tempt contractors has been difficult hence why many of these roles are being released. Nevertheless, these candidates are willing to move to permanent roles in order to pursue career progression. This has seen an increase in permanent positions coming back on to the market and this is set to continue into Q2.