Regulatory and economic changes open up opportunities in Project & Change Management

Mark Astbury 27.02.2018

We have asked our specialist discipline teams what they envisage happening within their industry in 2018. Here are the predictions of our Project & Change Management recruitment division.

What is the main trend you foresee for Project & Change Management in 2018?

Last year was all about recruiting for MiFID II due to the deadline early in January 2018, so there should now be a move away from hiring in this space and into other mandatory projects. Looking forward, we can expect requirements to start coming through for SFTR and Brexit, whilst some of the banks have started to hire for BCBS IOSCO. Individuals rolling off MiFID II will be competing to get into these programmes mid-2018.

Despite other impending deadlines from the regulators, such as ring fencing, there seems to be more money available for strategic and revenue generating projects. New technologies, including distributed ledger, big data and Artificial Intelligence are expected to see greater investment, as is cyber security which remains at the forefront of organisations’ minds.

As there’s still a lot of remedial work to be done on MiFID II, some candidates will remain on this initiative to complete the work during 2018. Others will have to look for new assignments as the budgets would have been reduced, downsizing the teams by up to 60%.

Banks are also looking to build out central change functions so these people can be allocated across the various programmes in the organisation. Most commonly, they have hired at the permanent AVP Business Analyst level where they tend to look for candidates who have either several years’ experience working in a BAU function before shifting into change, or those from a consultancy background. These change functions have been set up because of a continuous flow of large multi-year mandates, where the firms need teams of both contract and permanent staff.

How is the Project & Change Management sector looking with the progression of Brexit policies?

As large organisations will have to rebuild their businesses in a way that is acceptable to the new international relationship that’s evolving, a number of project professionals will be required to analyse their current state and work out what changes are needed. We have seen, and will therefore continue to see, firms reaching out to the market in search of people for this programme.

The main issues in this initiative are:

  • The ambiguity dredged up by the lack of a cohesive target state

  • The complexity of banks’ existing technical infrastructures

  • The need to satisfy needs of both the customers and regulators

  • The fast approaching deadline and so called “cliff edge” of delivery day

At present, is there a high demand for certain roles within Project & Change Management? And why?

From a client perspective, AVP Business Analysts and VP level Project Managers are being sought after to fill permanent positions. Candidates who are in particular demand include: Senior Business Analysts with previous experience on SI work streams within MiFID II programmes, regulatory change candidates with knowledge of fixed income, Repos and OTC derivatives, Business Analysts and Project Managers with experience on Ring fencing/Structural Reform programmes.

Candidates are also looking for chances to work on new innovations, such as AI, UI/UX, digital and DLT, as well as in the front office or within regulatory change.

What skills and attributes are particularly desirable in Project & Change Management at the moment?

With numerous opportunities available due to regulatory, political and economic changes, there are a diverse range of skills that organisations look for in candidates. Hybrid PM/BA skills, front to back Investment Banking product knowledge and experience in delivering technology change are all frequently seen on job specifications.

A background in working on Best Execution, Investor Protection and Costs & Charges work streams are also highly desirable. This is because there is still a demand from mid tier banks, as they are slightly behind the curve on completing MiFID II.

What are the current salary bands looking like in comparison to recent years?

We have seen very little change across temp and permanent recruitment, although a lot of contractors who were being paid a premium on MiFID II programmes over the past few years will have to be more pragmatic around their day rate when looking for their next role.

What one piece of advice would you give someone currently looking for a job in Project & Change Management?

2018 is going to be a good year for the projects market, but be as flexible as possible when it comes to rate, role and institution. Get yourself out there and keep an eye on what’s available.

Mark Astbury's picture
Associate Director


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