Top tips to maintain momentum in your risk management career

Alex Riedl 17.04.2020

Spring recruitment update for risk management professionals in London, with tips on how to maintain momentum in your career.

Overview of risk management recruitment

Whilst recruitment in many areas has been negatively impacted by recent events, , Risk recruitment has remained somewhat resilient due to the fact Risk resources are key hires and critical to helping organisations navigate the uncertain times.

Hiring across the Risk and Quant Finance disciplines was quite active at the start of 2020 with post Brexit budget restrictions being lifted at many institutions. In addition, a number of regulatory initiatives including FRTB began to ramp up and the impact of IR35 saw a significant increase in temporary candidates seeking permanent opportunities. In particular, we have noted that hiring has been particularly busy in mid-tier and branch banks responding to increased demand from regulators and also in the buy side sector, especially in Risk Analytics.

Market Risk

Traded market risk saw steady hiring across key fixed income product areas with a focus on interest rates. In addition, portfolio oversight roles encompassing cross assets exposure with strong programming skills especially in Python were in demand.

Quant Finance

We noted an increase in hiring within risk analytics covering both market risk methodology and counterparty credit risk. For FRTB methodology quant roles, the main focus was around PnL attribution and DRC calculation. Required skills for these positions included having worked on RNiVs, strong programming in Python, C++ and maybe R, cross asset class knowledge and strong academics, with an emphasis on PhDs and DEA where there is more experience of reading and interpreting whitepapers and the latest methodology changes.

Also in demand was experience in counterparty credit risk modelling and any exposure to calculations around XVA and CVA. Here a strong pricing background is required or alternatively statistical modelling.

Pricing validation remained steady with many institutions requiring more models for each asset class they trade in order to achieve regulatory waivers. All models need to be documented to a particular standard and so we saw an increase in niche roles focusing on risk, valuation and pricing models. Pricing knowledge in particular was in demand and within this we noted an increase in knowledge of algorithmic trading models.

Credit Risk 

Areas of note included leveraged finance. This includes underwriting debt financings in connection with leveraged buy-outs, acquisitions and refinancing, loan participations as well as credit lines for derivatives business. As a result, candidates with both exposure in loans and derivatives were in demand. Another busy area were skillsets covering a portfolio of non-banking financial institutions with a focus on funds and asset managers, but also including insurance companies and broker dealers.

A few tips on how to maintain momentum in your risk management career

  1. Have a strong LinkedIn profile. This goes without saying for every candidate on the market, I suggest having a strong profile, so you can be seen and known within your network. Make it as all singing and dancing as your CV - with a good picture, profile, skills, updated role and then further dated experience from there. 
  2. Utilise LinkedIn - as well as having a top notch profile, you need to be using it and making sure that you are posting relevant things in the right places. To be seen as a industry expert, make sure you are doing the following: connecting with the right people, always message after connecting, post topical updates, join risk groups on LinkedIn and post your content into these groups.
  3. Network - for risk management this has to be one of the top things to do. Regardless of if you are in a role or not. If you aren’t in a role, network as much as you can either through LinkedIn, old colleagues, groups and online events. If you are in a role, make sure you network around the wider business, introducing yourself to the wider risk team and/or business could help create other opportunities for you. 
  4. Being able to meet future colleagues in person before accepting a new role looks like it will be a thing of the past (for the next few weeks/months at least) as most clients switch to phone & video based interview processes.
  5. It is crucial that you hone your skills in asking your interviewers good, relevant questions in order to screen whether a role is right for you, and really drill down on their expectations for a successful candidate. 
Alex Riedl's picture
Principal Consultant
ariedl@morganmckinley.com

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