It’s not been an easy start to 2016. Large investment banks have been cutting heads in ever-greater numbers and a dismal first quarter suggests that more redundancies could be on the cards.
But where are the opportunities right now? Easter represents a pause in the frantic working life of finance professionals. It's also when a disappointing round of bonuses at European banks are paid. Now’s the time to spruce up your CV and think about what opportunities are likely to emerge.
We’ve spoken to some top financial services recruiters to get their predictions for the coming quarter, broken out by sector.
“Investment banks have been a lot more cautious with advisory recruiting across M&A, ECM and DCM and we’d expect that to continue. However, we’re seeing continued demand for technology investment bankers, and a lot of real estate-focused private equity firms are hiring junior bankers. Where banks are hiring in M&A, the demand is focused at VP level. More recently, we’ve seen a lot of banks hiring for their restructuring arms in anticipation of some fall-out from the current economic climate.”
Andrew Pringle, director, M&A, private equity and corporate finance at Circle Square Talent
“We’re seeing demand for analysts with two to five years’ experience within event-driven hedge funds. Across the street, there’s an ongoing demand for business development professionals that shows no sign of stopping, but the biggest demand is for senior compliance and technology professionals. Some hedge funds have outsourced these functions, but most are creating new teams from scratch.”
Barry Seath, managing director, Mirage Recruitment
“Most of the tier one investment banks continue to focus on cost-reduction, regulation and maximising efficiencies in their technology projects, but more exciting opportunities exist in the smaller, so-called tier-two, institutions. These are investment-led programmes focused on innovation within fixed income divisions. Rates and FX are a focus, but we’re also seeing roles around bond trading platform technology.”
Paul Bennie, managing director of IT in finance headhunters Bennie MacLean.
“There’s been a 30% uptick in compliance jobs over the past month. We expect demand to include monitoring, regulatory affairs, anti-money laundering and front office compliance advisory, particularly in fixed income and foreign exchange markets.”
Hakan Enver, operations director, Morgan McKinley
“We expect to see an uptick in demand is IFRS 9 specialists, particularly in the retail banking sector. While the effective implementation date of IFRS 9 is only in 2018, this new standard has broad implications affecting results reporting and credit losses on loan portfolios, and will likely require the scoping of new systems and processes.”
Luke Davis, vice president, Robert Half
Project and change management:
“A lot of banks currently have MiFID II projects underway and there’s a growing demand for project and change managers in this area as well as operational risk functions. On the contract side of the business, anything to do with compliance or financial crime will continue to be a big focus.”
James Murray, associate director, project and change management, Robert Walters