Published on 5th April 2017
The start of 2017 has been no different to previous years, where hiring mandates that have been open since Q4 2016 were coming to a conclusion. There was also an increase in overall month-on-month hiring activity in January 2017 compared to 2016, with greater employee turnover resulting in a larger number of replacement hires. These trends have resulted in a greater number of successful hires in Q1 2017.
This quarter, we have seen a growing pool of talent seeking new opportunities. This has been mainly driven by banks announcing bonus figures as well as annual salary increments. In a number of cases, these bonus payouts have been lower than previous years, which has led to Banking & Financial Services professionals being more open to new opportunities in 2017. Some banks have also clarified their plans to outsource back office functions, leading to an increase in the job seeker pool. Throughout Q1 2017, financial institutions have been carefully budgeting headcounts for the year, and we saw hiring processes taking longer than usual.
The first quarter of 2017 saw specialist roles in higher demand
In the Finance sector, demand for Private Equity profiles still prevailed, particularly around Funds, Investments and Corporate Accounting. Although these roles do not necessarily show up in volume, they are of a very specific nature, and hence financial institutions tend to use recruitment consultancies to scout for such profiles. There has also been a demand for Financial Reporting professionals at mid to senior levels, though again, these roles do not exist in volume.
Private Banking has seen plenty of activity, especially around Client Servicing and Documentation roles. There was also a demand for Operations Projects profiles with Transfer Agency and Retail Banking industry experience. For these project professionals, companies preferred those with both strategic planning and implementation capabilities rather than those with just an oversight role. Some professionals in the Operations space from the sell-side have also expressed their interest in moving into buy-side firms.
In the Audit, Risk and Compliance space, we have seen a number of Business / Operational Risk Management roles being created or replaced in first line functions under business and support units, at mid to mid-senior levels. Whilst Internal Audit professionals continue to be in active demand, open roles are replacements rather than new headcounts. Compliance hiring also saw a slowdown compared to last year with the exception of AML / KYC-specific roles.
Digital and Product Marketing professionals have been key hires for bigger financial institutions, specifically within Retail Banking, Insurance and Asset Management firms with a Retail customer segment. Though there has been a lot of staff turnover in this space, this is mainly due to high turnover at junior to mid-level positions.
Bonuses were conservative
For Banking, usual bonus figures were between 1-2 months with some firms giving as little as half a month. For Asset Management, including private equities and hedge funds, bonuses were typically between 3-6 months, though very much dependent on company and individual performances. Internal increments have also been minimal between 1.5%-5% on average.
We saw professionals wanting to change roles due to lack of progression, incompatibility with company culture, long working hours, post-restructuring redundancies, lack of salary increments, and low bonus payouts.
Looking ahead into Q2 2017
We expect to see more active job seekers in the market as bonuses get paid and professionals are affected by redundancies as a result of offshoring activities.
Talent demand for Private Banking support will continue as some firms plan further growth in this business segment. We expect to see increased hiring activity here as potential hires are approved, replacement roles come up and changing regulations continue to demand project support. Digital-related roles will likely continue to be in demand while Audit, Risk and Compliance functions will continue to experience staff turnover.
As a general trend, we expect recruitment processes to be longer with tougher requirements. We also foresee that hiring activities will focus on mid to mid-senior level positions in Banking & Financial Services.
Banking & Financial Services
Salary Report for Q2 2017*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15–20% of the base salary for senior executives.