"Exciting but challenging times ahead for Risk Professionals in the UK" - Morgan McKinley Risk Global Trend Report, H1 2014.
We have seen an improvement in the recruitment market for Risk Management professionals in the United Kingdom over the past year. Awareness of risk has undoubtedly increased due to high-profile failures, the threat of fraud and financial crime and the economic uncertainties of the recession years. However, there are some challenges with a shortage of local talent, particularly at middle and assistant manager level, necessitating recruitment from abroad, mainly Ireland, mainland Europe and Australia. Recruitment is currently focused on Operational, Credit, Investment, Financial and Market Risk. A developing area is Conduct Risk.
There are some challenges with a shortage of local talent, particularly at middle and assistant manager level, necessitating recruitment from abroad, mainly Ireland, mainland Europe and Australia.
“We’ve been especially taken aback by the scale of new recruitment by the Big Four, with one firm alone hiring into approximately 400 new roles,” comments Karl Alliban, Senior Consultant for Operational Risk, Governance and Internal Controls at Morgan McKinley’s London office.
On the demand side, we have seen a relaxation of recruitment freezes and other cost-cutting measures and, in general, recruitment budgets are increasing. However, hiring processes tend to be lengthy as organisations try to find candidates who tick all the boxes.
“My advice to candidates is first, to be aware of the current trends and gain relevant experience, for example of new regulations, and to make sure that you can back up what is on your CV by preparing intensively for interviews,” says Sam Turner, a London-based Risk Recruitment consultant with Morgan McKinley. “You need to be able to adapt your skill set in a fast-changing environment.”
Knowledge of ICAAP, ILAA and Basel III are particularly relevant as this type of experience is currently highly valued by the banks.“Knowledge of ICAAP, ILAA and Basel III are particularly relevant as this type of experience is currently highly valued by the banks,” adds Karl Alliban. The profile of Risk Management professionals is definitely on the up within Financial Services. They are gaining experience of more areas of banking and even juniors are getting exposure among senior stakeholders. “As a result roles are also becoming more challenging as there are many stakeholders who are not used to dealing with risk managers,” says Alliban.
In response to this development Morgan McKinley is investing even more effort in giving candidates a clear appreciation of what a job will entail, both to manage expectations and make them feel convinced that the role on offer is the right one.
For many roles, proven ability in statistical analysis is a vital asset alongside certification in Risk Management or FRM and accounting qualifications. Companies are also looking for candidates with a Master’s degree in Financial Mathematics and Engineering. “Risk professionals will be more and more targeted at capturing regulatory capital,” says Turner.