Insights

Investment & Middle Office

WEALTH & ASSET MANAGEMENT MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2017

• Article by BRUIN Financial

WEALTH & ASSET MANAGEMENT MARKET COMMENTARY, Q3 2017

MARKET OVERVIEW

Throughout the Summer of 2017, we have seen the continued trend of hiring in client facing areas, with asset management firms continuing to focus on retaining existing clients and expand and strengthen their global remit.

Fixed Income continues to be a focus in both the client facing space but also product development, performance and Investment support aligned positions.

A number of clients have taken the opportunity to bring in new talent at the more junior end when senior members of staff have resigned and are using the budget to hire keen and driven juniors who have some experience in the industry as a long term solution for areas where there is a skills shortage. We have also seen clients look at their hiring needs in a different way and the number of roles opening up to job share candidates, part timers and also Returners has increased.

BRUIN was part of a Returners Event run by the Diversity Project for candidates who were interested in getting back into the Savings and Investment Industry attended the one day event. Kirsty Pineger delivered a CV and LinkedIn workshop for the attendees in order to help them maximise their chances when applying for roles. Off the back of the event we have seen a number of clients open to hiring a Returner for the roles that they are struggling to fill.

 

Role Profiles

With the launch of many new online apps and investment platforms such as Nutmeg and iQuantify, the demand for simple and intuitive retail investment which customers can understand is rising. Many international investment firms have realised the need for ensuring their existing retail client base remain engaged and have a continued commitment and trust when investing. This has lead to a focus on client engagement, and we have seen both the strengthening of exiting teams and the launch of new investment platforms which offer uncomplicated and transparent investment solutions.

Hence, a number of institutions have been actively hiring for candidates with client services experience. The focus has been on bringing in candidates on a contract or FTC basis with the view of converting them to permanent, as this way the client can ensure that not just the relevant technical knowledge is brought to the business, but that candidate fits in with the team and shares the same values as the business.

Striving to ensure excellent client service has also led to an increased number of firms hiring contractors to cover holiday, maternity and sick leave, rather than allow the team to absorb the extra work load.

In the institutional market, we have also seen a large number of roles looking for candidates across all levels that already have client facing experience. We have seen a focus on Fixed Income within these roles and due to the high demand and lack of quality candidates in this area, we have seen some flexibility from hiring managers who are wiling to be open and hire emerging talent from the retail space who show a long term commitment to the institutional market.

Alongside this we have also seen continued focus on language skills. Again, due to these candidates needing to be at a native level, firms have developed some flexibility on the regulatory knowledge and core skillsets needed. Languages which continue to be a focus are German, Nordic languages and more recently Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese.

French language skills have also been requested in multiple Product teams within international asset management firms who are looking to expand their SICAV fund range. This has been at both junior and senior levels and candidates who have knowledge of European regulations have been favoured over candidates who have only covered the UK market.

Performance has again been an area which has had high turnover throughout the summer. Disruption has been caused by Barclays POINT being transferred to Bloomberg PORT, however the ambiguity around this process has caused multiple firms to question their current commitment and look to alternatives in the market. Aladdin being one of the systems which is currently being trialled and implemented, we have been seeing an increased demand for candidates who have experience using or implementing the system already.

Also, the use of customised reporting and bespoke analysis is key as most firms have recognised the importance of excellent client engagement, hence the client reporting function has continued to be one in demand with majority of our clients hiring on both permanent and contract basis. For these roles we have noticed that clients have had particular expectations in regards to candidates’ background as solid previous experience and good qualifications have been a key requirement.

 

Predictions

Going into the final quarter of the year, we see no slow down in core roles at BRUIN and feel that client centric and investment support positions will continue to be the focus.

An area for consideration for clients at this stage in the year is around bonuses as many candidates want to collect their bonus or have some of it addressed in offers they receive, so this is something that firms will need to think creatively about.

Due to the numbers of candidates being available in certain areas being limited we predict that buy back offers will remain high for the remainder of the year and into 2018. base to be able to fill roles with base salaries between 120,000 and 200,000pa.