2018 Projects and Change Management Salary Guide

Luke Skinner 04.01.2018

Project and change management 2018 salary guide of permanent and contract rates for positions in London.

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Commentary on Projects & Change Management Roles and Remuneration in UK for 2018


There were common trends that were present throughout 2017, with regulation becoming synonymous within financial services sector and further embedding the sense of change throughout the industry as a whole. Interestingly, the lack of clarity surrounding the future of Brexit and the wider economic world hasn’t dampened the demand to hire projects and change professionals on the whole, with hiring remaining relatively stable year on year. Contract hiring did experience a slight decrease of 4% towards the end of the year, whereas permanent hiring experienced an increase of 7% for the year overall. 

If we unpack the main theme of regulation, and in particular MiFID II, this has touched all elements of the project hiring sphere and certainly expunged a large quantity of the capital spent across the financial services market. Both the major banks and asset managers funded large scale programmes to ensure 2018 deadlines were met, or at least sated for the immediate future. What has become apparent, particularly in 2017, is the necessity to think and be bold in terms of restructuring some of the banks to align to a more cost conscious yet customer centric model that the public demand.

Positive  & negative news

After the slight lull of the January blues had faded from 2016, the regulatory programmes took their first heavy swing of 2017 as the first wave of the financial services sector tried to beat the rush in order to get their head around MiFID II and the potential impacts on business. Programme managers were the first to be recruited in an attempt to help drive the vision and help build the project plans further for these initiatives. Business analysts and project managers soon followed to initiate and analyse the first steps into MiFID. Those that were left slumbering searching for budgets soon found that the negative news behind this hiring push would be the lack of the foreseeable budget on other programmes, with any other project running at a more modest and stagnant pace. 

Mid to late last year brought a different set of challenges as some institutions found themselves behind the curve on the regulatory programmes. Rates began to rise across the board for all associated with MiFID II, some particular skill sets within investor protection and product specialised areas of MiFID were commanding rates up to £750 - £800 per day for senior business analysts which has been unseen, unless at SME level within banking. The negative impact for the remainder of the market meant certain skill sets outside of the regulatory sphere found opportunities limited, particularly at the senior project and programme manager level where rates typically reduced. 

Across financial services, cost reductions and efficiency were the only areas to co exist as banks fought to keep the revenue generation areas as effective as possible.

Qualities and skills in demand

Qualities within the market have been fairly constant as regulation has driven recruitment across the board. The next step encompasses Brexit strategies and the system implementation  synergies that can come out off the back of the regulatory implementations. Consultative approaches will no doubt be a focal point for the start of the next year as banks begin to seriously start the programmes for the Brexit process to discover any missing links within their business models at present. Regulatory post implementation work will still be in high demand so continuing the trend of the £650 rate business analyst. 

Compliance initiatives at major European banks have and will continue to be of paramount importance with anti financial crime skills being a fixture and desirable skill extending from 2017 and beyond, with project managers commanding up to £800 per day. 

System implementations and keeping up with an ever evolving marketplace means banks are keen to keep up and not be left behind; so technical change candidates are also in high demand to act as the conduit between the business and technical teams to make meaningful business impacts.

Outside of work

The market is competitive and will continue to be. Any qualifications including, but not limited to, lean six sigma are very valuable.  Cost efficiency and process will continue to grow and be utilised, agile qualifications would also be valuable additions to skill sets. 

Notable trends

Diversity remains a key factor across a number of clients, not only with permanent hiring like we saw last year, but it is becoming more prevalent in contract hiring as well. There is still a lot of offshoring and nearshoring with downsizing a key trend across London.  With MiFID II due to be delivered in January, there is optimism that budgets will be able to be spent outside of regulation, looking at new technologies and system upgrades etc.

Luke Skinner's picture
Associate Director


Business Analyst - Manchester
Agile Project Manager - Financial Crime Transformation - Tier-1 Global Bank based in Sheffield
Business Process Analyst - Transformation