From July to September the market was fairly unpredictable and we saw demand for candidates across product control, financial control and most recently within regulatory. July and August although busier, slowed down in pace as many key decision makers took annual leave. September has seen a surge in the regulatory space as key deadlines loom on the horizon. In other areas things have been a little reserved as managers take a step back and prepare budgets for 2015.
Asset Management operations continued to be an area of significant activity, with 40% of roles to date this year coming in the months of June and July. This was across the board from BAs to PMs, but with a focus on permanent candidates. It was apparent that Asset Management clients were aiming to find the candidates before a summer slow-down as August saw a decline in permanent opportunities released, but contractors were still in demand in the data space and the client on-boarding world.
In Banking operations, we saw a rise in contract roles with relatively little permanent activity. Roles were mainly regulatory focused, with a healthy candidate pool of Dodd Frank Project graduates rolling off projects to help meet demand.
Risk and Compliance
This area is still a focus for our clients as they continue to ensure they have the correct governance and controls in place. Having said that a few firms that may have featured in the press for the wrong reasons have generated the majority of recruitment activity, rather than there being a consistent flow across the market.
We have seen a surge in demand for Change candidates with strong Data Management experience across all disciplines covering Reference Data, risk data, finance data, Client Data, Index Data and Market Data – all highly sought after.
This is due to the Banks and Asset Management firms aiming to implement new master data systems or simply process map where the data should flow through and who should be accountable for it. The larger banks are also obviously impacted by BCBS239 and the associated deadlines.
After a high demand in Q1 for Business Analysts and Project Managers with regulatory experience in preparation for MifiD 2 and finishing FATCA, our Asset Management clients have not been hiring in the same volumes in Q3 in the regulatory space.
Within IB the focus has been mainly regulatory orientated projects, however there are some process improvement programs happening in the city generated from the front office.
Although there has been a ‘pause’ recently whilst a number of firms assess 2015 budgets in key areas, we anticipate a flurry of activity at the end of the year to ensure all budgets have been spent.
The signs are there that permanent recruitment in Asset Management is going to continue into Q3 at similar levels to January— May 2014, given that the first week of September saw a number of Asset Managers with requirements for junior level BAs and senior PMs. However, given the fact that bonuses are expected in less than three months, there is some hesitation from the senior candidates. Due to the generalist experience currently in demand in the Junior BA market, good candidates often receive multiple offers, particularly from the big consultancies.