Strategy, Projects and Change Market Overview 2015

2015 was a big year for the Strategy, Projects and Change team at Morgan Mckinley.The contract market within Finance Change has seen a continuing trend around regulation.

Here at Morgan Mckinley, we saw with steady growth and an increase in demand for a variety of roles. To learn about 2015 in more detail, please click here to read the full report. Now that we are nearing the end of our first month of 2016, here are our predictions and indications from what we have seen so far within the Market, for the rest of the year.


[Breakdown of Roles per Change Area SPC January 2016


Breakdown of Candidates per Change Area SPC January 2016

Finance Change:

The contract market within Finance Change has seen a continuing trend around regulation. In particular, Basel III projects focusing on Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). In addition, we have seen an increase in the number of roles requiring candidates with a background in Recovery and Resolution planning. Data Quality is still high on the agenda for the banks, so Business Analysts who can handle and manage large sets of data are also in high demand.


Operations Change: Contract

Communications with numerous managers and on site teams across the Investment Banking area this month has indicated that budgets have been set in principle but where they will be spent is far from concrete. Typically, the market tends to pick up with more pace in February on the contracting side for our Investment Banking clients when budgets are more consolidated and as a result we expect to see the same for 2016. Internal sourcing of candidates and emphasis from clients on placing Permanent candidates have both been prevalent this month. Saying this, we have seen an increase in the Recovery and Resolution Planning space from a leading Investment Bank, with five positions being released in the past month.

In contrast, across Asset Management and Custody, there has been an appetite to bring contractors in straight away after welcoming the new year. This is due to strategic, multi-year projects running where there is a need to ensure they are being organised effectively. Furthermore, we have seen Project Manager roles across Transfer Agency, system implementations and the widening regulatory initiatives which we would expect to continue in the first quarter of 2016. 


Operations, Finance and Risk Change: Permanent

It's been a quiet start to the year in many areas for Permanent roles, with several major Investment Banks retaining their 'critical hires only' policy for Projects. In addition, with the Mifid deadline being pushed back by 12 months, the level of urgency to hire in this space has been reduced.

On the other hand, there are pockets of high activity for permanent hires. For example, some of our Investment Bank clients are pushing a strategy to reduce contractor headcount and hire permanent staff in. Candidates with a strong background in data-related projects are in high demand across Finance, Risk and Operations change, with hiring activity in Regulatory projects for Financial Stability Board reporting, Structural reform, and Market/Credit Risk Stress Testing. Another active area is Treasury, with Liquidity and Capital requirements driving demand.

A key determinant of market activity this year will be that three of the major Investment Banks have pushed their bonus payouts to mid- or late- March, so the usual February rush in Investment Banking may come a little later this year. 

In contrast to this however, several major programmes are coming to the late stages of defining their operating models and delivery roadmaps, which should result in a high level of demand for Regulatory Change across the board towards the end of Q1.


Overall, we have had a positive start to 2016, and we hope that this continues. If you have any questions regarding our content please feel free to get in touch.

Victoria Walmsley's picture
Managing Director


Project Manager - French Speaking -JIRA, Splunk, Tableau, Software background
An exciting role for a risk management candidate with leadership experience and a strategic mindset.
One of the worlds biggest companies is looking for a Lean Six Sigma Business Improvement Manager