Market Overviews

Sales & Marketing Market Commentary, Q4 2015

• Article by BRUIN Financial

Sales & Marketing Market Commentary, Q4 2015


The final quarter of 2015 has experienced the normal wind down expected at this time of year when Asset Managers and Banks usually consolidate promotions and budget for the new year, rather than turning to the job market.

A significant trend in the last quarter has been the continual rise of buy-side arms at established banks and broader financial services firms. As noted recently by Kirstin Duffy, COO of BRUIN Financial, in a subsidiary of the Financial Times, buy-side salaries are becoming more comparable to that of their investment banking counterparts. Furthermore, Goldman Sachs’ Chief Executive for EMEA, Andrew Wilson, recently claimed that the main driver of this change is the fact that investment management provides longevity and other benefits for its employees and investors alike. GSAM has definitely led by example having generated net revenues of $4.65bn within the first nine months of 2015.

Gender diversity has steadily risen up the agenda within Financial Services and has been particularly topical in Q4. Most noticeably, the departure of Julie Dean from Schroders had significant repercussions, with her fund losing over two-thirds of its value in a six month period. Steps have subsequently been taken to identify the gender breakdown within firms to allow more transparency and encourage diversity in the workplace. Whilst Columbia Threadneedle, the first firm to take the leap into publishing their staff breakdown, has thirty-seven per cent female workforce this only transpires into just over twenty percent in the boardroom. This demonstrates the disparity in gender diversity that still remains, which is further supported by the monthly figures produced in the BRUIN Women in Financial Institutions (WiFI) Index.

The ETF market has continued to make the headlines in Q4, as previously in our Q3 market commentary. With BlackRock battling for dominance, the likes of BMO, Franklin Templeton, GSAM and Legg Mason have all launched new ETF ranges. This not only highlights their popularity as a low cost alternative to other products whilst still delivering yield, but also their global significance and attractiveness in the other regions such as APAC and Nordic markets.

In Q4, we can conclude that the digital aspect of the marketing mix has played an important role within Financial Services. We have seen an influx of roles across several areas of digital and online specialisms over the course of 2015.


In Q4 of 2015, the bulk of the marketing recruitment has been at mid level roles rather than senior hires. This activity has been reflected on permanent but also temporary hires showing a demand in both areas.

Similarly to Q3, the demand for RFP Writers remains steady; however, we have seen a decline in the supply of RFP specialists in the market. To release the burden of permanent hires, we have seen an increased volume of RFP roles on the temporary side. As a response to this, we have noticed that a large element of RFPs has become incorporated in sales and marketing positions more specifically in sales support or junior marketing executive roles.

In Q4 BRUIN hosted a Breakfast Seminar focusing on strategies for content marketing within financial services. Alongside a high demand in experienced Content Marketers the importance of content within traditional and online marketing strategies has been reflected in the type of roles we have seen. The digital element seems to be key which questions the way in which the content will be distributed in the forthcoming years. Q4 has also seen an increasing need of European languages within marketing roles, more specifically German and Nordic languages. This enforces the advantage and necessity of candidates with an additional language, and we predict that the need for bilingual candidates will grow in the next financial year.


Whilst Q4 has overall shown a decrease in the number of new jobs in the market, which is the usual seasonal trend, we are predicting a buoyant 2016. Clients overall seem to be positive about their future budgets and we envisage further growth of financial services sector.

One of the main predictions by Financial Times is that by the year 2020 individual financiers will increase by one-hundred and twenty percent, and subsequently make up the majority of asset management’s net new flows. Therefore the technology and digital sphere will be utilised to help reach these valuable investors via innovative marketing techniques.

We have begun to see this movement reflected in a few greenfield roles requiring a mix of sales and digital skills and we predict this trend will only continue in 2016.