Jobs in private banking and wealth management grew the most in 2012, with a 42 percent increase over 2011 in postings on eFinancialCareers.com.
"Wealth management operations are not as balance sheet sensitive," said Constance Melrose, Managing Director of eFinancialCareers North America. "For many firms, that is attractive, especially as the baby boom generation enters retirement."
Many wealth managers and financial advisors are baby boomers themselves and nearing retirement which means there's a greater demand to attract and train a new generation of wealth managers.
"On the surface, 2012 looked like a sideways year in financial services recruitment," said Melrose. "But appearances can be misleading. Softer overall activity masked an interesting combination of sector rotation and steady recruiting in certain sectors."
Aggressive hiring in some sectors last year cooled this year. Commodities, trading, and hedge funds were the top three fastest growing categories as measured on eFinancialCareers in 2011. This year new job postings in those categories fell and they were among the top losers. The number of positions listed in the hedge fund sector dropped 48%, while commodities positions saw a 47% drop-off. The only sector to do worse was derivatives, which is down 49% compared to last year.
On the plus side, operations jobs increased 14% while positions in compliance rose 8%. There was also growth in information technology and risk management.
"These are the areas where firms are improving productivity, controlling and managing risk, and responding to regulators," adds Melrose.
When sectors move into favor, there's still no guarantee that the supply of talent has kept pace with demand.
"That's why recruiting top talent needed in this environment remains a challenge," says Melrose.