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Global professional services recruiter, Morgan McKinley revealed in its 2016 UK Salary Guide that 2015 was one of mixed fortunes for professionals in the UK. CFOs reacted by announcing redundancies and imposing restrictions on hiring talent. The guide showed that whilst there were signs of a strong economic recovery in the first half of 2015, the second half brought renewed uncertainty amid challenging global conditions.

Despite this, there has been growth in employment in accounting and finance, compliance, risk management and internal audit in response to the growing burden of regulations. Salary increases within the London financial services are likely to favour those looking to change organisations over the next 12 months, with some offering rises of 15-20% on base salary.

Key Morgan McKinley UK 2016 Salary Guide highlights:

  • Compliance: 19% increase in vacancies compared to 2014 which was reflected in a 20% increase in salaries which rose to 30% and above for more niche and hard­-to-­fill roles. These included monitoring, regulatory affairs, anti-money laundering and front office compliance advisory, particularly in fixed income and foreign exchange markets. Compliance also saw an increase in hiring trend for females and lawyers as well as high quality candidates from Hungary and the Czech Republic
  • Projects and change: professionals in high demand to support strategic programmes with rationalising systems infrastructure and delivering high-quality data reporting capabilities to meet upcoming regulatory requirements
  • Risk: The regulatory and technological landscape is making it difficult to match existing skill sets to the new needs. Hiring organisations are now recruiting at a more junior level, especially those with superb academic qualifications who can adapt to software tools and programming languages
  • Internal auditors: Banking auditors were sought after in 2015 due to increased regulation with firms increasing headcount by as much as 20-­25%.
  • Employers looking for technologists within big data, software engineering and fintech to improve processes, streamline businesses, undertake structural reforms and capture data
  • HR recruitment saw volumes increasing to levels not seen since 2008 with strong demand for HR managers, HR generalists and rewards and compensation specialists, learning and development and training experts, and HR advisors
  • Increased reliance on online content has led to the emergence of the digital product manager who brings new products to market via complex marketing campaigns

Hakan Enver, Operations Director at Morgan McKinley London, said: “The events that we have seen to date in 2016 suggest that this year will be a bumpy ride for the UK. London will also be impacted by job losses in banking and financial services, increased house prices and organisations offshoring divisions to more cost-effective locations across the UK.”

“Despite the announcement in finance of major redundancies, there has been growth in employment in a number of areas in response to the growing burden of regulations and diminished appetite for risk. Demand in 2016 is likely to be continued to driven by changes in legislation and regulation.”

“Salaries have increased over the last two years, due to the demand of certain skill sets outweighing availability and competition for the best talent. Those in an environment with exposure to policies, procedures and controls, will find themselves in a more attractive position for a promotion or increased remuneration packages.”

“Across South West England and the Home Counties, we expect to see demand across all disciplines, with the salary gap slowly narrowing with the Capital’s. This allows relocation to other parts of the UK more palatable as those leaving London are not necessarily as financially worse off.”