Banking & Capital Markets Hiring and Employment Trends Q1 2018
The past year has been an eventful year for the Irish Banking and Financial Services Sector and this shows no sign of abating in Q1 of 2018. In fact, we are witnessing one of the most intriguing periods for Irish Banking and FS candidates with substantial changes in the domestic pillar banks and new entrants to the FS market. The pillar banks are the subject of much scrutiny with a new CEO at the helm of Bank of Ireland and additional restructuring a possibility, as well as the floatation of 25% of AIB in the largest IPO in Europe in 2017. However, this is scrutiny in the progressive sense of the word. Barclays and HSBC continue to build out their Dublin operations and there are a number of new entrants in the capital markets and asset management sectors in the pipeline, as well as a huge amount of interest in what kind of front office mandates Dublin can attract post-Brexit.
Corporate Banking’s overwhelming theme has been the acceleration of the asset recovery based model that dominated the post-crisis era with the re-emergence of lending as the weapon of choice. Not since 2007 have we observed such demand for talented relationship managers with the ability to originate. However, this poses a number of problems. While there is still a strong demand for such candidates, many senior candidates have spent the past few years in a recovery role in asset servicing at an advisory firm or working on debt in the pillar banks. In addition, many candidates who only entered the market post-2007 and should be hitting their career defining years have had limited exposure to lending. While they are technically very good, they lack the business development skills required in a competitive lending environment. There is also the developing trend that has seen most candidates (87% in a recent Lincoln Survey) have a strong preference for a move out of recovery and into lending. While this probably reflects the human condition that leads one to prefer handing out money rather than chasing people to get it back, it is really just a reflection of the changing dynamic in the market with few recovery books having more than three years left in them.
A developing trend has seen most candidates (87% in a recent Lincoln Survey) have a strong preference for a move out of recovery and into lending.
A lot of strategies have focused on the retail sector with there being an emphasis on hiring highly educated and qualified customer focused staff. Leading Banks have been seeking a new brand of advisor – one who can make a real difference to the customer and has been actively driving change to become more customer centric. Recent regulation has pushed those offering life products to retail customers away from a bonus-focused remuneration policy with an increase in base and clear career path now being to the forefront of candidate attraction. We see other banks now following suit as a result of increased pressure from the regulator and this might increase the barrier to entry facing candidates without leading academic qualifications.
Investment Banking & Capital Markets
Much of the activity in this space has revolved around the soap opera that is Brexit. We are dealing with a situation that takes its lead from political, rather than economic winds, and there are so many firms still hedging their bets with contingency plans in place, rather than outright alternatives. Working closely with the IDA, we can observe that Dublin is winning and will continue to win more than its fair share of the Brexit-related pie.
The flow of CVs from abroad within Asset Management & Capital Markets continued apace during Q1. There has been much comment about Brexit and we are constantly being asked by candidates, clients and other interested bodies on what the climate and appetite is for more front office activity in the Dublin market. Many multinational organisations are scouting Dublin and the recurring theme is whether we have the commercial and residential property capacity and the requisite talent pool. We have won mandates from International Investment Banks and Asset Managers in sectors that did not previously exist in the Dublin market, which has opened up a completely new candidate demographic. Indeed, the large investment banks currently in the Dublin market are eagerly awaiting new entrants so that Dublin can become a bona fide financial hub where talented candidates do not represent a flight risk, but rather a long-term investment.
The coming months will see some exciting new functions entering the Dublin market, which previously went to more established Financial Centres. Lincoln is at the forefront of recruiting in this space and we are well positioned to capitalise on our industry knowledge and market contacts. Please feel free to contact us on 01 6610 444 if you would like to discuss current opportunities in the market.