The quarter was almost entirely dominated by BREXIT, and the uncertainty in the run up to the referendum had an affect on the number of new requirements in the change space. However, the majority of clients had comprehensive strategies in place for either outcome and are now in a position to implement their contingency plans with the result that we have seen increased demand across the majority of sectors.
In Asset Management, the overwhelming message from our clients is that it is very much ‘business as usual’ in terms of hiring, with now an additional remit for specialists from the Brexit result. Some of the larger asset management firms are already considering headcount for dedicated ‘Brexit change’ consultants to oversee the overall business impact of the UK’s exit from the EU, which is a model that we anticipate will gather momentum following the start of negotiations between the new UK government and the EU
The Operations and Compliance space within Investment Banking has been relatively steady throughout the second quarter of the year. We have seen the market slowing down ahead of the referendum, with banks holding off in spending their budgets on increasing the number of headcounts, considering the uncertainty in the market. However, there has been high demand in hiring within the Regulatory and Transaction Reporting space following the outcome of the result.
Q2 in Finance Change has very much been replacement hires on the contract side, with a real push to get more candidates who are keen on day rates to move into a permanent role.
We have already seen increased demand for change and operational / business risk professionals and anticipate this will continue as regulatory change such as MiFID 2 was driving hiring in a BA and PM capacity. Many of our buy side clients have continued to invest in front office projects – either for new investment products or OMS systems to support trading. Candidates with these profiles were highly attractive sending BA rates to over 700 per day and reducing the availability of permanent staff.
In terms of the Operations and Compliance Change within Banking the hiring trends were also across the Regulatory environment as the regulatory change programs are now accounting for majority of the change-the-bank budgets. A great majority of our banking clients have continued to focus on their regulatory deliveries, with specific attention to the MiFID 2 programme and most of the focus on Business Analysis on a contract and permanent basis. In addition, there has been a good demand for candidates with TOM and process improvement experience as well as Big4 Consultancy and strategy background.
Within Finance change the majority of the roles on the Investment Banking side have been IT Regulatory change, Finance Business Analysts and Product Control Change, but at the AVP permanent basis. On the Asset Management side there has been a real emphasis on hires around Solvency 2 implementation and streamlining the Financial Reporting Process. Candidates in both Asset Management and Investment Banking Finance Change roles have all been quizzed on how much of the project they have been involved in and what strategic initiatives they have come up with which has resulted in either current process being streamlined or implemented across the business.
In Risk change a number of banks were hiring both pre and post the Brexit result across Market and Credit Risk Change. In particular initiatives such as IFRS9 and candidates who have strong Credit Risk and Accounting Policy backgrounds were sought after and we’ve also seen a real desire to hire Risk Change professionals with strong Data Architecture skills in Q2 as well. This is a trend we expect to see continue for the rest of the year.
There is no doubt that Regulatory change will be a significant area of focus in the next 2 years, which alongside the usual drivers for project work, should see intense competition for the strongest candidates in the market. This was the focus of a recent Financial Times article for which BRUIN was invited to contribute. Read more here.
The Banking Operations and Compliance Change will most probably continue to remain steady. There is expected to be a good demand for candidates to join on a contract basis within the Regulatory space considering that most of the banks are coming into the delivery stage. On the other hand, majority of Infrastructure projects will most probably be on hold due to the uncertainty on the market caused by Brexit.
Q3 for Finance Change is going to be similar to Q2 in that there is going to a real push for candidates to move from contracting into permanent positions. There is going to be a real push for candidates not only being able to show their Accounting knowledge but being able to translate this and understand the IT process behind the changes.