Investment & Middle Office

Wealth & Asset Management Market Commentary, Q3 2014

• Article by BRUIN Financial

Wealth & Asset Management Market Commentary, Q3 2014

Market Overview
Recruitment in the Asset Management industry has continued to be very buoyant across middle and front office recruitment, with many newly created roles coming to market. Due to the number of candidates who have moved in the last 3 months, this has also created more replacement hires.

As competition for talent increases, candidates are receiving multiple offers and counter offers are becoming more and more common place. As a result, clients who run a smooth and efficient recruitment process are more successful in securing their preferred candidates. Holidays definitely impacted the speed at which vacancies were filled but also meant that in some instances, momentum was lost with the preferred candidates and time to hire was prolonged. Consequently those clients who undertook the majority of their hiring prior to August have fared better than those who started the process in August, just at the height of the holiday season.

One promising observation that BRUIN has made, is that roles that are being released to market which previously were notoriously hard to fill, are now being filled with top tier candidates with transferable skills as opposed to like for like experience. Clients are therefore more interested in succession planning for the future and offering candidates development opportunities that were previously not open to them.

With the holiday season coming to a close, we have already seen an increase in hiring levels, which we expect to continue. We also anticipate a huge amount of hiring to take place from October to December as clients aim to fill roles in this years’ budget. However due to impending bonus announcements and compensation discussions, candidates are hesitant to leave this side of Christmas without any clarity on what total compensation could be in their first year.
Although we expect a large volume of roles to come to market in the final quarter of 2014, we expect hiring in 2015 to be higher still as confidence continues to return to the market.

Role Profiles
As more Asset Managers have continued to outsource certain functions and roles to third parties, the number of Oversight positions seen in the market has increased. This has been at all levels from junior Analyst level to heads of and managerial level roles. In some cases the roles we have recruited for have been newly created, with no team previously in place undertaking this function.

Product development, product strategy and market research continues to be one of the busiest areas for BRUIN’s Asset Management team. Roles have either been at the junior level where a graduate with a years internship would suffice or have been at the very senior end, where candidates have been expected to have a background in not only product development across multiple jurisdictions but also to be able to influence and assist with product strategy at a senior level. This hybrid role has proved tricky to source for, as the number of vacancies in the market has outweighed the number of candidates in the market with this experience.

The number of performance roles has continued to increase towards the end of the quarter, as has client reporting. With performance, the roles have tended to be at the more junior level but at the senior end, candidates have had to have strong Fixed Income and technical attribution abilities which has made sourcing talent at the senior end difficult. Candidates with the necessary skill set often do not see the merit of moving mid year to a similar role and are instead looking for the next step up which would be a managerial role or a head of position.

With client reporting roles, hiring managers have been very particular. Candidates in demand are those with solid institutional client reporting experience from an Asset Management background with strong academic and industry qualifications. Part of the reason for this is that many client reporting teams in the city are looking to upskill and are therefore interested in candidates who are be able to speak to and answer client queries, so an analytical background is a common prerequisite.

At the senior level, relationship management roles have been very focused on Fixed Income. Hiring managers have been willing to look at candidates with strong product knowledge (like product specialists) who are looking to take the next step up in their career. Institutional client services roles and positions supporting Institutional relationship managers will always be a busy area of hiring as asset managers look to improve their client offering. Candidates in this space have been very strong of late but with one of the most sought after profiles in the market, multiple opportunities are often presented to them.