Over the last 3 months, hiring has been up and down in the Investment Banking world, with the back end of August and beginning of September seeing a sharp increase in the number of opportunities out there.
The last couple of weeks of last month saw a large dip and this has continued into October. A few of the larger institutions quietened down in Q3, while they looked to see what resources they have, discuss their budgets and think about their requirements for 2016. This obviously had a knock on effect in the contract market as there were less options out there, meaning less movement between the banks. We have seen a rise on the number of roles coming from our Asset Management and Custodian clients though, as they look to bring people onboard before the end of the year.
With regards to the hiring trends over the last quarter or so, the market has slowed down particularity in the last 2 months. There seems to be "Recruitment Pauses" rather than official freezes at some of the larger banks and this is on the contracting side. With regards to perm, there seems to be very few opportunities coming out for some of the banks which usually creates an increase in contract roles, but this doesn't appear to be the case.
As expected and in line with recruitment within the last 2 years, everything is driven by regulatory change but it seems even more apparent. In fact, there is real difficulty getting positions signed off if they are not of a regulatory nature, such as BCBS239, FRTB, CCAR, FDSF, expected shortfall methodology under Basel 4 and even the production of RWA for operational risk losses and scenario analysis for operational risk.
We think that there is going to be a continued stream of market risk roles within methodology change across the city for the rest of the year and some production work and methodology work for counterparty credit risk stress testing.
To give you an oversight on the market from our side, Quarter 3 has been busy with the trend of regulatory change continuing and more strategic operational roles coming through. MiFID II projects are now in full swing as more institutions begin to initialise their projects. A great deal of platform upgrades across trade management has been the flavour of the quarter and we foresee this being a continuing trend. There are also a variety of system upgrades taking place across the industry at the moment. Payments platform standardisation roles have picked up over the quarter as banks are asked to look at payments differently moving forward with tightening regulation.
Finance change has probably been the quietest of the three areas this quarter, continuing the trend for the earlier part of the year. Within this discipline, the growth has been largely in liquidity and treasury based projects related to LCR and NSFR (Liquidity Coverage Ratio / Net Stable Funding Ratio – Basel III). There is now even talk of Basel IV coming into play early in 2016. Other areas that have seen a rise in recruitment have been Product control and valuations as well as Decision Support.
Projects and Change Permanent
The permanent market for Finance change has been quiet in terms of job flow – mirroring the contract market there have been roles sporadically popping up in Treasury related to LCR and NSFR, predominantly on the data side. Q4 is predicted to follow along the same pattern as Q3, whereas Q1 of 2016 is expected to see an increase in roles concentrated on a combined requirement portfolio of risk and finance change backgrounds. This area of development will be once again driven by regulatory requirements.
The busiest areas within Operations Change for permanent roles have been centred on Mifid, Derivatives Regulatory Reform, and Collateral. A lot of the demand in this space has been for candidates with Front Office experience, especially when combined with experience of project management longer-term, more strategically focussed projects. The expectation for the rest of the year in this space is an increase in similar demand, with more roles coming in at a junior level as budgets are defined more clearly and roadmaps for delivery are put in place.
There has also been an uptick in demand for Operations change roles within Investment Management and Asset Services, mainly driven by the wide-ranging reach of next year’s regulatory deliverables.
Risk has been the busiest area for project roles in the permanent market, with Q3 seeing a consistent demand for Risk change expertise in consultancy, as well as an uptick in demand across all areas of Risk change for in-house roles. The Regulatory landscape for Risk is clearly the most active driver of this, and candidates who understand Risk Models, or Data Quality and categorisation issues are the main skillsets needed. There are also a number of large-scale Strategic initiatives in motion, or due to kick off soon, with both Tier 1 and Challenger Banks. These programmes focus more on the infrastructure and architecture underlying Front Office or Middle Office Risk, aiming to simplify the technological landscape, and ultimately move to more flexible, up to date Risk systems upgrades in the medium to long term.
Job of the Month:
An excellent opportunity has arisen in the highest priority Programme of a Tier 1 Investment Bank, with a focus on rationalisation of process and systems architecture, and strategic upgrading of technology for Front Office Risk Systems. This role is ideal for an AVP BA/PM candidate, with experience of large-scale data-centric systems and business change, as well as a strong understanding of PnL technology and processes, especially with reference to Risk based PnL.
The successful candidate for this role will have experience of managing change as a Business Analyst, Project Manager or Hybrid BA/PM, from the business side, as well as having dealt with data-intensive projects (ie. Business side of data migrations, data warehousing projects, PnL systems upgrades etc.). Candidates from either a Finance Change or Risk Change Background will be considered.