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Financial Services Ops

Darren Burns, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley 

Impact of Brexit on Financial Services Operations in London 

We are yet to see any form of impact on headcount in Financial Service Operations, either positive or negative.

This said, we are hearing that contractors may be needed to help with increased workload as work / trades / deals are processed through new entities that have been set up within the EU. 

Top 5 most frequent roles

Temporary:

  • Derivatives Trade Support
  • Client Reporting
  • Portfolio Analyst / Fund Administration
  • Loan Servicing / administration
  • Product Development

Which sectors have been the most active in terms of hiring? 

Both Buy side and Sell side have been equally active in terms of hiring. 

Q1: Demand for languages a worry with Brexit restricting pool of candidates in Financial Services Operations 

The year began slowly after what proved to be a busy Q4 to end 2017; a lot of recruitment in January was churn from last year. February continued to be lethargic in terms of hiring, with candidates and clients lacking urgency with bonuses due in March/April.

As we moved away from bonus period, things became busier, with hiring for investment management being consistent. These were primarily replacement hires following bonuses.

TOP 3 IN DEMAND AND HIGHEST PAYING FINANCIAL SERVICES OPERATIONS ROLES 

  • Performance analysis: £45,000 – £70,000 
  • Client services: £50,000 – £80,000 
  • Product development and product management: £60,000 – £90,000

MOST DESIRABLE SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

Following expansion into Europe, language requirements for client services professionals increased; German, Nordics, Dutch and Italian particularly. VBA and SQL were popular for analytical roles, and the CFA and CIPM remained beneficial. The IMC and CFA continued to be highly sought after by clients looking for product development/management candidates. 

JOBSEEKER AND HIRING MANAGER MOTIVATIONS

The first quarter of the year resulted in people waiting to collect their bonuses before leaving or looking to leave. It is a natural time for professionals to consider their current situation after annual salary reviews in February/March, and look for new positions if they are unhappy.

The start of each year is tense for hiring managers as they wait for staff to decide whether they want to stay or depart. On the flip side – given it’s the end of the financial year – it’s an exciting time for hiring managers as it’s when budgets are released and headcounts are approved for hiring.

Q2: Brexit continues to be top of the agenda for Financial Services Operations recruitment 

The number of permanent jobs increased throughout Q2 following on from a strong Q1. Both the asset management and banking industries were busy with hiring, the majority of positions being filled at mid-level. On a more negative note, frequency of jobs on the contract market was subdued, continuing on from a slow previous quarter.

Brexit continued to be top of the agenda, with talk of jobs moving to mainland Europe, but this time outlining specific roles. Conversely, Brexit actually created more jobs in the short term; staff members were deployed onto projects and therefore contractors were drafted in to fill their positions.

MOST EXCITING ROLES SEEN THROUGHOUT Q2

We noticed a number of banks increased their front office support, with more Sales Assistant and Trade Assistant contract roles which is usually more of a permanent area. These roles are exciting and enticing for candidates as they offer front office exposure and a move away from the middle office.

DESIRABLE SKILLS SOUGHT AFTER IN CANDIDATES

  • Increased Excel skills needed – VBA etc. This is due to increasing levels of reporting being involved in BAU roles.
  • Financial product and process SME knowledge – always important for Trade Support roles.

PREDICTIONS FOR THE UPCOMING QUARTER

As policies slowly become clearer, and the leave date gradually draws closer, Brexit planning is reaching Business as Usual level. We anticipate that this will result in a high number of short term roles becoming available whilst changes are put in place. There is likely to also be increased headcount in operations due to the setting up of new entities for Brexit.