In the final quarter of 2014 we saw client demand across the contract recruitment market slow down for Asset Managers and Investment Banking. However, for the permanent roles our clients made a final push to get roles that had been identified in Q2 and Q3 into offers and over the line before year end.
With several core regulatory deadlines approaching over the next 12 to 18 months, regulatory candidates in finance, risk and operations and look to continue to be in particular demand. We have seen a number of the Investment Banks moving internal permanent teams into high profile regulatory projects and back filling the BAU roles. With more focus being put on regulatory change our clients are re-organising to provide accountability to the permanent and long lasting employees.
It was evident that a small number of our Investment Banking clients had a recruitment freeze towards the end of the year; this meant that they lost out on candidates that they had selected for specific roles. It is always the clients that show the most urgency and have an expedited process that will hire the best talent.
The roles that were of highest volume in the Investment Banking space were Business Analyst’s or Project Managers with experience of liquidity or risk management systems and those with a strong understanding of regulatory reporting. In terms of corporate level; the bulk has sat within the mid/senior AVP arena. These are a hard level to attract for another permanent role as there has been a lack of promotion of AVP to VP; therefore the frustration is driving them to move into a contract role.
Our clients are often using their own recruitment teams to source a lot of the more senior VP and Director roles themselves or encourage internal mobility.
In Asset Management, permanent opportunities continued to be the main focus. Our clients have made a drive for a number of mid-level Business Analysts with 3-5 years’ experience and therefore they became a very competitive market for candidates. With Investment Banks also competing for these candidates and often offering more contract roles, a proportion of these candidates are favouring the higher income in exchange for less career progression. For example an ex-consultancy business analyst with 4 years experience who has been on 50k could aim to get 65k permanent or 500 per day on a contract role. We also saw new opportunities in Investment Operations, client reporting, on-boarding and transformation for Project Managers and Business Analysts.
2015 looks like it could be another busy year in recruitment as a result of a number of factors. In terms of pressures on clients that will need to be addressed; there are key regulatory deadlines which have to be met (especially with MiFID II’s deadline of 2017) as well as general reporting and management information which has to be improved for a number of clients so new systems/enhancements are likely to be introduced.
We are also seeing a sense of confidence from candidates; those that have not moved for fear of losing job security are now starting to consider a move. There are some frustrated candidates who cannot secure a promotion or pay rise internally who will look to move externally this year.
The signs are that permanent recruitment in Asset Management will continue with one of the largest buy side firm’s in the city looking to undertake a move for contractors to permanent resources. However, we forsee regulatory projects to continue to be a priority with short term contracts filling this gap in knowledge. We predict strong mid-level Business Analysts will continue to be the hardest to attract.