Frequent hiring at senior levels boosts Investment Management market

Anna Miah 08.10.2019

A stable flow of Accounting jobs across Investment Management has created a buoyant market for job seekers over recent months, with some hires accommodating for growth in strategies.

Overview of Accounting & Finance in Investment Management recruitment

The past few months have seen a relatively stable flow of accounting and finance jobs across Investment Management. These vacancies have been spread across a range of seniority levels and the greatest quantity have come from larger institutional clients. As organisations saw growth in their strategies, resources had to grow in tandem and a number of exciting new positions within established teams were released as a result. From a negative perspective, summer breaks and congested diaries meant lengthy delays in many interview processes. It was relatively common for applicants to have a 2-3 week wait during the process, with individuals intermittently out of the office. 

Compared to earlier this year when most activity was at the mid-senior level, the recent months have revealed increased appetites for the more senior end of the market, with the recruitment of positions such as Head of Finance, Deputy CFO and Head of Departments. We expect this trend to continue for the rest of the year and professionals would benefit from committing to a new role before bonus season in early 2020.

Accounting & Finance Investment Management recruitment facts

The most prominent roles seen throughout past months

  • Financial Controller/Senior Finance Manager

Clients have continued to bring on board experienced individuals into mid-management level roles in an attempt to bridge the gap between junior and senior team members. Professionals in this scenario would typically be looking to develop informal line management skills into more direct line management experience. Typically, remuneration potential would increase in this situation, however, the ability to effectively manage a team is also taken into account when being appraised for bonuses.

Whilst no particular skills have been in demand, we saw a number of individuals given the opportunity to learn new markets and geographies. This suggests an easing of expectations from hiring managers or more flexibility to train up staff in these uncertain times. However, fund managers with more specialist strategies still maintain a preference for candidates with the specific industry experience as they look to expand teams efficiently.

Workplace wellness: A growing trend across Investment

Workplace wellness has risen to prominence over the last few years. Finance is, by nature, a cyclical function and employees can find themselves working extended hours depending on the time of year or month - line managers have to make a conscious effort to ensure staff have time off during less busy periods. As some high profile organisations have moved into new office spaces this year, the introduction of high quality onsite amenities are appealing to professionals. Some of the initiatives offered include:

  • Subsidised gym membership
  • Free health checks 
  • Onsite medical facilities
  • Remote/flexible working where appropriate 
  • Breakfast and/or lunch provided
  • Volunteering/CSR days

Whilst candidates still primarily focus on the key variables of base salary, bonus and pension, the significance of additional benefits cannot be ignored - especially when comparing multiple offers. The ability to work remotely occasionally versus a higher offer may not be enough to sway an individual’s decision just yet, but candidates are seeing more value in being able to work from home. 

Contributors to success for job seekers

  • Junior - Find stability, don’t frequently change roles if possible. Be clear on your career aspirations and clear on what you want to achieve.
  • Mid-Level - In an interview process, you may find yourself up against individuals with similar experience and qualifications to your own. Think about what sets you apart, what is your greatest achievement and what are you most proud of.
  • Senior - Typically, you will get an interview based on merit and the perception that you are able to do the role. Part of your interview process will entail you “convincing” senior management that you are capable. Do not make assumptions, cover all eventualities and possibilities using a thorough and organised structure in interviews.

For the remainder of 2019…

A high level of activity in terms of professionals looking for new roles over the summer suggests the remainder of the year and the beginning of 2020 should see stable activity. Hiring appetite seems to be high, with a number of growth hires mandated recently. This said, we have seen a number of firms across Investment Management pausing their permanent hiring in the UK until there is more Brexit clarity. The overall picture is that the industry remains appealing to finance professionals who are attracted to challenging and diverse roles with competitive compensation packages.

To make the most of the marketplace, candidates should ensure their LinkedIn profiles are up-to-date with the most recent roles and experience. Also, keep a copy of your CV on your phone - this can help you apply for roles remotely or forward it onto recruiters quickly to avoid missing out on specific opportunities.

Anna Miah's picture
Senior Consultant | Accounting and Finance Recruitment
amiah@morganmckinley.co.uk

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