Financial Services Job Market Picking Up in Pittsburgh

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At a time when the media is chock full of reports about layoffs on Wall Street, hiring is picking up in smaller markets such as Pittsburgh, where hundreds of millions in assets are managed.

Big firms such as Bank of New York Mellon, PNC Corp and Federated Investors are in a hiring mode along with smaller companies. Firms are relocating people to the region for senior-level jobs because the talent pool is not deep enough in the Pittsburgh area, according to people familiar with the job market.

Reasonable cost of living

Pittsburgh has plenty to offer those interested in relocating including a reasonable cost of living, a vibrant arts scene and a passionate professional sports culture. When winter comes, the weather can turn bitterly cold, especially when a cold wind whips across the three rivers where the city is located, the Allegheny, Monongahela and the Ohio. Nonetheless, it has been repeatedly honored as the most livable city.

“I have seen more jobs posted on our site over the past six months than I have seen in a long time,” Malcolm E. Polley from the CFA Society of Pittsburgh tells eFinancialCareers. “We are seeing a lot of people from Wall Street who are from this area trying to come back.”

PNC is doing a “reasonable amount of hiring while Federated hires more entry-level folks,” according to Polley. “Demand is [also] coming from smaller firms as they look to build out their benches.”

Many asset managers

PNC didn’t respond to a request for comment. Federated declined to comment on its hiring plans. Both have jobs listed on their Web sites. Other asset managers in the city include Fort Pitt Capital Group, Parker/Hunter Asset Management and U.S. Asset Management. A source familiar with the market cautions that many asset managers in Pittsburgh are small operations and therefore have less need to hire. That may change, of course, depending on how the economy performs.

Andrew Sassaman, branch manager at Robert Half International in Pittsburgh, echoed Polley’s views.

“We have absolutely seen an uptick here,” he said, adding that demand was strong in risk and compliance, credit processing, loan origination and underwriting. Though salaries are not returning to their 2008 levels, “there are more counter-offers today and there are more perks thrown in” such as allowing someone to work from home, according to Sassaman.

Needs are diverse

The needs of Pittsburgh-area employers are diverse. For instance, BNY Mellon is interested in hiring for its Asset Servicing, Financial Markets and Treasury Services, Wealth Management and Business Partner Groups.

“Some of the key areas we're concentrating on include roles in finance, information technology, risk, compliance, corporate actions and more,” according to a statement the company provided eFinancialCareers, adding that it was “not at all difficult” to find qualified applicants in Pittsburgh.

However, Pittsburgh firms are, of course, not immune from the global slowdown.

Earlier this year, BNY Mellon announced plans to cut 1,500 from its global workforce as it faced costs that were rising at a much higher rate than revenues.

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