The start of 2017 bought with it a steady flow of hires with an overall increase from Q1 2016 as markets have settled. This has been a mixture of both new and replacement hires as firms looked to implement plans from last year’s market changes.
Client retention is always a key focus in the asset management industry and maintaining a high standard of service for institutional client base has remained a key aspect into this year. We have seen a focus on firms looking for high quality candidates who have like for like experience and individuals who can ‘hit the ground running,’ which have proved in some cases tricky to find with the exact product and regulatory knowledge.
Areas which have been tricky to source for have included the private equity and real estate areas. However, we have seen an increase in London based client service roles looking for European language skills. These individuals will be based in the UK and liaising with localised sales people on the continent notably in Germany and Holland. Because these language skills need to be at a fluent/native level, in this are we have seen some flexibility on the product and regulatory skillset and firms have been hiring at a more junior level to ensure the language requirements can be met.
We have seen a number of new roles looking for experienced individuals in the oversight space. With an increasing number of regulations including MIFID II, PRIPS etc requiring a closer working relationship between firms to ensure the requirements are met. In addition to this, pressure to increase productivity and reduce costs ensures that a higher level of scrutiny is involved in SLA reviews.
We have seen high turnover in performance teams at the start of this year and it looks to continue to be an area of focus into the mid stages of this year. An increasing number of firms have separated their performance teams into product specific specialists. The roles we have been seeing have however been at all levels, with the majority focused on Fixed Income and requiring advanced attribution skills. With an increased number of roles and a shortage of candidates in this space, we have seen candidates looking for larger increases in their base salary to make the move into a like for like role.
With many mergers and outsourcing schemes being announced this year we have seen increased uncertainty from candidates and many people have started to passively look for roles in more stable or growing firms.
In 2017 we have been working on an increased number of positions at more senior levels. With hiring budgets being tightened multiple firms are reaching out as we have the capability and candidate base to be able to fill roles with base salaries between 120,000 and 200,000pa.