The Michael Page Banking & Financial Services 2013 salary and employment trends survey
The Michael Page Banking & Financial Services employment trends survey is compiled from data collected from candidates and clients we have worked with over the past 12 months, and insight provided by financial and banking professionals from across the sector.
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2012 was a year of continuing decline in the fortunes of the investment banking sector, with ongoing redundancy rounds a regular headline. In some cases these redundancies signal a change of strategy and reduced appetite for risk, rather than fundamental lack of profit. So in some cases one firm’s retreat will signal another’s advance, but clearly there has been a distinct lack of growth generally, and recruitment across that part of the sector, particularly in front office, has been considerably depressed.
The banks have been hiring in places, but from the external recruiter’s perspective this has not necessarily offered respite as those firms look primarily to redeploy staff internally or, if they must seek external talent, maximise the number of direct hires. However, taking into account the diversity of the City, in terms of different types of organisation, and jobs, our own experience has been of a very consistent, albeit deflated, level of demand with almost no variation month on month as the year has progressed. Conversion of these opportunities into meetings between client and jobseeker has also remained very consistent.
So behind the headlines, recruitment has been continuing.
In some cases pockets of demand are related to firms shifting talent internally e.g. firms staffing up restructuring areas have been backfilling origination roles from the external market. Also as big banks are cutting, for example, in DCM, there is demand from smaller, boutique banks looking, say, for people with experience in corporate bonds.
Buy-side firms have been hiring in an opportunistic way, taking advantage to hire talent at a good price in these markets.
Most of the demand is around VP level, and below. Associate level jobseekers with good resumes have generally found that opportunities exist. In certain areas, directors and MDs may need to sit tight (or sit out) for a while, maybe for the next year, maybe less. Though having said this, there will continue to be opportunities in consulting, advisory boutiques and so on.
In support areas, clearly where front office functions have been closed, not everyone has been re-housed internally. But people with strong product knowledge, technical skills, and good academics have found good roles elsewhere.
And generally, fragmentation of the sector has created opportunities. We have worked with a significant number of start-up firms, and overseas firms looking to found, or beef up, London operations.
In both established players, and new entrants, ever tightening regulation has meant that recruitment in governance areas, such as risk management, compliance and audit, has remained more robust than others. In core areas such as finance, many larger firms ended 2011 with relatively skeletal structures, and so recruitment for replacement hires, even if not growth, has continued throughout the year.
The dramatic changes in the structures of some of the sector’s large firms, perhaps most notably in the UK banks, has created a lot of opportunity for jobseekers, in finance, compliance and regulatory related roles, risk management and change management.
From a recruitment point of view, the winter months are likely to be quiet. But we anticipate that the opportunities mentioned above are likely to result in the market improving again by the end of Q1 to the levels we saw throughout 2012. As always there is also some extent to which firms will use the current turmoil as a context for up-skilling, and we won’t be surprised to see some new hiring in supposed crisis areas, in Q1 2013.
For more information, please contact David Leithead:
T: 020 7645 1420