Unpredictability anticipated to continue for Risk Management professionals

Morgan McKinley 08.10.2019

Whilst times are hard for contractors employed within Risk Management, permanently employed professionals have been part of a more active recruitment market.

Overview of Risk Management recruitment

The temporary side of Risk Management has been heavily influenced by Brexit and the impending changes to IR35. Job flow has slowed and many contractors have had their contracts ended due to budget cuts, contributing to a continual drop off in opportunities as 2019 has progressed.

Despite the usual passive summer period, things have been more positive on the permanent market, with hiring across the sell and buy side. In banking, we have noted an upturn of hiring in areas affected by increased and more stringent regulations. These include Model Validation for both risk and pricing models and Risk Analytics functions covering Counterparty Credit risk and market risk methodology roles. In addition, there has been increased activity within market risk with a particular focus on Fixed Income products and broader cross asset portfolio oversight roles. 

On the buy side, we noted a number of key clients scaling their businesses and diversifying their strategies. The mandates have ranged from Systematic Trader to Quantitative Portfolio Managers, and the risk functions of these businesses have grown in line with the build-out to complement growth.

Risk Management facts from summer 2019

The most prominent roles seen in past months

Within contract Risk, there has been more of a focus around Internal and IT Audit within financial services. These usually have a specific regulatory focus such as MiFID II where they are testing the controls around relatively newly implemented regulations.

Hedge Funds have continued to open up permanent opportunities for in-house talent by offering formal graduate programmes. Although most employees in this area come from Tier 1 Banks, some funds have built rigorous testing programmes to identify intelligent individuals who are starting out in their careers. In addition, funds continue to be on the lookout for strong investment risk managers with a specialism in a required asset class. Interest rates continue to be a key asset focus and we have seen a number of strong sell side candidates move into these positions.

Workplace wellness for Risk Management employees

There aren’t any specific wellness initiatives being rolled out across Risk Management, however there is a growing tendency for contractors to request the option to work from home as often as possible.

For the remainder of 2019…

Speaking to many of our clients there is still a general desire to hire and fill key strategic roles in the permanent market. A number of large banks still have key regulatory deliverables to complete and need to bolster team sizes in a number of key areas.  

It’s nigh on impossible to predict how the remainder of the year will progress with Brexit heavily affecting Risk Management and Financial Services as a whole. The implementation of IR35 to the private sector is influencing how contractors are paid, so will make matters even more tricky for temporary Risk professionals.

FRTB is a large regulatory headache for the banking sector, as is IBOR transitioning. Many would have expected an increase in these roles throughout 2019, however opportunities have been few and far between. We are waiting to see what the end of the year will bring but the outlook is not as optimistic as seen in previous years.

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