The final quarter of 2014 remained extremely buoyant with an uncharacteristically steady flow of market movement into the festive period, with both candidates looking for a new opportunities and clients to seeking to grow their teams in the New Year.
As the year came to a close and journalists focused their reporting on the economy we were not surprised to learn that Reuters had reported that Britain’s financial sector had recorded its largest upsurge in business over the past 20 years.
This positive news was highlighted in the Financial Times with a report on top level executives. According to analysis lead by Grant Thornton, the average total pay for FTSE 100 Chief Executives has increased by over 50% throughout the year of 2014. The financial year closed with the average basic salary for Chief Executives of the UK’s largest financial companies recorded as over £550k, with the majority of these paying a bonus worth almost double their basic salary.
Throughout 2014 we noted the rise and increasingly rapid uptake of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). The funds are becoming a highly popular investment tool and saw a 36.5% increase in inflows throughout 2014. In terms of recruitment, levels in the ETF space have remained steady, however as the funds begin to gain traction we predict we will experience an increasing amount of hiring in this exciting expanding area throughout 2015.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Britain’s financial sector reported its fastest growth since 1996 in fourth quarter of 2014. Therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that we seen a very buoyant end of the year in terms of the supply and demand of candidates across asset management. We predict that this will only continue at the similar pace, if not greatly accelerate in Q1 of 2015. With promotion news and bonuses being announced early this year we are sure to see candidates at all levels exploring other opportunities. We expect a significant movement on the senior level just after bonus payments which will greatly impact the structure of the sales and marketing teams in 2015.
Considering most budgets are being finalised this month, we foresee quite a few growth hires being sought early this year. We envisage this trend will continue in Q2, which will be particularly busy with firms replacing the talent that has moved on earlier this year.
In the lead up to 2015 we saw the continued need for asset managers to recruit sales and marketing candidates across all levels. There has been a substantial focus on the European markets, with continued investment into their sales and marketing functions, trying to grab a larger proportion of market share across the regions. With this being the case the need for candidates with language skills has increased significantly, in particular French and German speaking opportunities covering France/Benelux or the DACH region.
Marketing Communications/Investment Writing candidates from executive through to senior management level are still very much in demand. The new found focus of targeting the end client and writing for the masses has seen a complete change regarding the types of profile Investment Management firms are looking for; out goes the stalwart Asset Management Investment Writer, in comes a more journalistic and thought-leadership style writer.
Experienced RFP writers are predictably still in short supply and as a result salary levels for candidates with 5+ years of experience are starting to move towards the £60,000 even £65,000 mark.
With increased focus on Regulation (RDR), a number of Asset Managers have targeted the Retail market, trying to understand where they can best add value. With feedback heavily focused around a stronger phone relationship needing to be built, we have seen firms building out a proactive telephone sales force. Some teams now having up to 2 or 3 people per geographical region/location.
It is important to note that the quality pool of profiles is expected to increase steadily in Q1 with bonus payments being announced and individuals interested in the market.
Ana Maria Tuliak
TEMP / CONTRACT