There has certainly been no post-Christmas hangover within London compliance recruitment in January. Hiring has begun in earnest at the senior level within asset managers, as firms gear up for up AIFMD and within the Bulge Bracket Banks.
Here is a more focused breakdown from the past month:
2014 has seen an increase in the desire for strong monitoring candidates within asset management. Those who have performed desk / thematic reviews will find themselves in particular need, as there is a shortage of candidates in this area, with demand currently outstripping supply. Candidates with experience in conducting portfolio suitability reviews will also find themselves in demand. As always, firms will show interest in individuals who have strong regulatory experience for advisory positions. This trend will more than likely continue until bonus payouts end. People who are willing to look beforehand will find themselves in the market with less competition, compared to the post bonus months ahead.
We've seen a very strong start to the year for the control room candidates. There are lots of control room roles available at various levels from analyst to CP level. Most of these roles are replacement hires but we have also seen a few banks expanding their teams with more experienced hires. We have also noticed a huge uplift on salary levels recently and clients are willing to pay a premium for strong candidates.
The recruitment market for compliance advisory professionals at the start of the year has been strong. There has been a strong demand for equity advisory professionals and in particular cash equity professionals. Firms are continuing the trend from last year in terms of seeking senior hires at the VP to director level who can "hit the ground running". With increased scrutiny from the regulator on firms, in particular trading floors firms are continuing to bolster their first line of defence with seasoned professionals. Candidates are still at a premium and strong candidates with a solid resume can expect 20% - 30% salary increases.
New Year hiring started very positively in monitoring and surveillance, and volumes have remained relatively high. There was an increase in more risk-based monitoring roles with particular demand for candidates with risk review experience. Candidates with sound knowledge of EU and USA regulatory changes and updates, particularly those relating to electronic surveillance monitoring were in demand. Surveillance roles are becoming increasingly targeted around systems experience such as SMARTS and Actimize. The more experience that candidates have with these systems, the more this will enhance their chances of landing the next role.
The demand for compliance generalists is currently very high within the asset management and stock broking space in particular. Positions are currently available from compliance officer all the way to Head. Strong knowledge of both products and regulations, and how these will impact the business, are big on the agenda of many firms in relation to their search for new employees.
Candidates who have experience in approving financial promotions, compliance monitoring and managing key stakeholders, will find themselves in particular demand, as well as those who have previously managed teams or have worked within conduct risk.
The KYC / AML markets have been one of the busiest areas of the market over the opening month of the year. Candidates in particular demand are those who have previous experience in the on-boarding arena from an institutional background. There have also been numerous remediation projects starting in January. This shows that people with due-diligence experience are highly sought after in this current market. Industry sectors currently recruiting are asset management, investment banking and retail banking. Early indications in March lead us to believe that the need for KYC candidates isn't going to slow down anytime soon.
February saw a dramatic increase of AML and financial crime roles to the market. This was mainly driven by several tier 1 banks and their desire to improve systems and controls. Project and change AML candidates were in particular demand, and with renewed FCA focus on outsourcing, we have seen a number of senior transaction monitoring roles coming to the market.