The third quarter of 2014 has continued to be buoyant with recruitment levels remaining high across all levels. Delays to recruitment processes due to summer holidays and uncertainty driven by the Scottish Referendum have definitely marked Q3 of this year.
We all witnessed the destabilising effect of the Scottish vote, which triggered £1bn of outflows from UK equity funds in the week before the referendum, and many Scotland-based financial groups considered shifting their headquarters south of the border in the event of a Yes vote.
Whilst the NO decision must have been a bitter result for Yes voters, the City of London and several fund houses experienced a feeling of relief as a Yes vote potentially meant adding further regulations on an already over regulated investment market and an even more draconian approach from the FCA.
This has been a good pre-warning scenario for UK asset management firms on the effects of a possible UK referendum on EU membership and the consequences this would have on their businesses. The vote could also have an impact on London’s ability to attract talent, putting its title as a European financial capital in jeopardy.
In the meantime, in Q3, we have seen an increasing number of candidates being ‘bought back’ by their current employers as the market continues to be buoyant and the chase for talented employees continues.
Over the last quarter we have seen more movement at the Head of and Senior Management level, where candidates are more confident about making large moves. This has consequently triggered most of the investment management firms to implement better strategies to develop and retain their talent. Overall, firms seem to have been investing more in their professional development and have been more generous in terms of bonus promises to employees that go beyond their job description.
We have also seen a continued need for asset managers to recruit for roles across all segments of Sales & Marketing. Whilst the need for Investments Writers, RFP Writers, Marketing Communications and Sales professionals has not decreased, we have seen an increased number of roles in Events and PR at a senior level. Fixed Income focused marketing roles have continued to be particularly sought after, whilst candidates’ preferences have been shifting slightly towards roles focused on multi-asset offerings.
Within Sales, UK Intermediary Sales roles – from supporting roles through to Director level – continue to be buoyant. Moreover, in Q3 we have seen an increasing number of Institutional Sales Support and Sales Manager positions targeting the UK and Europe.
As previously mentioned, an ongoing need for RFP writers, predominantly in the Institutional space has also continued in Q3. The majority of these hires have been from analyst to VP level and there has also been some movement at the Head of level, mainly due to team restructures. Salaries for these individuals continue to rise and senior RFP writers, with no managerial responsibility, can now command £65,000, whilst the Heads of could expect their salary to go up to £90,000. their salary to go up to £90,000.
The market is definitely still on the up, with the majority of firms very positive about securing budget sign-off for additional headcount and expansion across their departments. A particular area of growth is at the Executive to Manager level and much of the hiring at Senior level driven by ‘back fills’.
Digital Marketing is a huge talking point with many businesses now heavily backing their teams’ development. As demonstrated by our recent Breakfast Forum & Round Table, a number of Asset Management firms are taking different views on how to approach their strategy, structure and how to best gain buy-in from sales professionals and return on investment.
We predict that digital candidates will continue to be sought after in the coming quarter, as well as into 2015.
We also anticipate the demand for strong communications professionals to continue, as Investment writing teams grow and writing for a more retail focused audience becomes a greater priority.
A-Grade RFP candidates remain hard to come by. As demand grows we expect competition to become even greater in the coming months. Overall, as the market improves, there is no indication at present that volumes will decrease and there are still a number