Banks shift their focus to strategic initiatives when hiring Project & Change professionals

Vinai Kongara 05.07.2018

After a strong start to the quarter, most hiring has been occurring internally as organisations reduce their resources on current initiatives.

Project & Change recruitment market overview

The second quarter of 2018 got off to a very promising start, as many banks looked to bring further external resources on board. Similar to what was seen in Q1, the majority of hiring has been absorbed by internal moves due to a large reduction in resources on current initiatives (MiFID II, Financial Crime Compliance, Structural Reform/Ring Fencing initiatives, FRTB, IFRS 9 and BCBS 239). With no immediate regulatory deadlines in sight, we’ve seen more banks shifting their focus towards strategic initiatives, especially from a Technology Change perspective.

Much uncertainty remains surrounding what the government will be able to secure in terms of Brexit negotiations. As a result, many banks have been reluctant to commit to building out huge programmes so far this year. Budgets have been allocated towards what needs to happen when we leave the EU, and each firm doesn’t want to spend the money on other projects until they know exactly what needs to happen. Lots of smaller companies have started planning for what it may mean, but they haven’t moved into the implementation phase yet.

Project and Change management Q2 review

Most exciting roles seen throughout Q2

The past few months have brought to light an initial round of hiring for Brexit programmes slowly taking flight in mid tier banks, with a lot of the bigger banks continuing to utilise resources from existing programmes.

There has also been continued demand for SFTR project managers / business analysts coming from a particular mid tier bank based in the City. Similar roles (project manager / business analyst) have been seen in the consulting arm of a top Investment Management firm.

Desirable skills sought after in Project & Change candidates

As the first half of the year has been relatively quiet, there haven’t really been any standouts in regards to demanded skills and qualifications. There has been a continued demand for change professionals with Agile experience, rather than Prince 2, as a project methodology.

Strong business analysis skills are still keeping people in work, however, no single specialism seems to have come through yet this year, although general regulatory project experience is in high demand. As more banks start to hire for SFTR, candidates with prior experience of delivering the EMIR Regulation alongside demonstrable knowledge of Bonds, Repos and Collateral will be in high demand.

We haven’t see anything kick off in regards to Brexit, but with more clarity coming from the EU Withdrawal act, further light should be shed on the next steps.

Predictions for the upcoming quarter

As the UK and EU continue to discuss their future relationship, we expect to see programmes moving on from the planning phase and into delivery. As a result, teams will increase and therefore more hiring will be seen. We expect Q3 to be fairly busy, with budgets finally accepted and strategies formalised alongside the impending cliff edge early next year. There should also be increased hiring both off the back of mandatory changes, but also hopefully around growth and business development.

Vinai Kongara's picture
Consultant | Project & Change Management Recruitment


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