Banking & Financial Services Salary Survey & Employment Overview 2016

Eoin Blake / January 27, 2016

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Banking & Financial Services Overview

The war on talent is beginning to rear its head again in the Domestic Banking and wider Financial Services market in Ireland, although it is not yet back to pre-recessionary levels. There remains a number of areas where there is an oversupply of candidates but in general we are once again facing into a market where top calibre candidates hold all the power.

Strong economic growth and a shift in sentiment transferred itself into the recruitment market with the majority of our clients reporting a need for new hires due to sustained growth and new business opportunity. Last year we highlighted a shift in the landscape of the banking sector with a number of players downsizing and exiting the Irish market and had a concern that this would lead to a substantial over supply of staff and under supply of open roles for traditional bankers. While this turned out to be the case at the start of the year, the emergence of alternative employers such as Private Equity and Vulture funds as well as Asset managers and loan serving companies has helped ease this pressure. The wider market has also transformed with Stockbroking and Wealth Management firms reporting continued growth and Corporate Finance pipelines resembling pre-recession levels for the first time. We have also seen an increase in alternative lenders and Investment funds enter the market to compete with traditional players and all of this has led to upward pressure on salaries and stiff competition for top tier candidates.

A Shift in Focus

As predicted last year there has been a slowdown of recruitment within restructuring and recovery arms of the main banking players with the focus now primarily on shifting to new business and regaining profitability.
A lot of strategy has been focussed on the retail sector with an emphasis on hiring highly educated and qualified customer focussed staff. Banks have been seeking a new brand of advisor – one who can make a real difference to the customer and have been actively driving change to become more customer centric.

These candidates are at a premium and as a result of hiring freezes that existed for a number of years, our clients have started to look to parallel industries outside of Financial Services where there is a high degree of commonality rather than differentiators for candidates who can bring a similar skillset obtained in different industries and apply them in this arena.

“Our clients have started to look to parallel industries outside of Financial Services where there is a high degree of commonality rather than differentiators for candidates who can bring a similar skillset obtained in different industries and apply them in this arena”

Companies that have chosen to broaden their selection process.have been met with positive results as candidates with varying skillsets bring a fresh outlook to the table and workplace “rules of thumb”, in many cases, are challenged and improved upon. This was also reflected in our survey where 29% of Irishemployers admitted to looking for talent outside of the industry in an attempt to address talent shortages.

Private Banking and Wealth Management has been buoyant again with an advent of opportunities for candidates on the market with headcounts increasing across the board. A number of our clients in this space are reporting pre-recession figures and the opportunity in the market has led to real competition in hiring with only a small talent pool of networked staff available. This trend is set to continue into next year and employers will have to start looking at alternative hiring policy to maintain their growth.

Future Predictions

2015 was a year in which we saw a number of alternative lenders come to prominence in the Irish market. We believe that 2016 will prove to be a year where there is significant growth in this area with a number of new players entering the market in addition to existing players consolidating their positions. There is a wide range of product areas within this space such as Invoice Finance, Commercial Finance, Venture Debt, Equity Funds and Property Investment houses and thankfully they require a wide variety of experience and exposure to staff their firms. This has been a welcome relief from the squeezed traditional channels and provided necessary commercial alternatives for job seekers.

Although activity in the Corporate Banking space has increased considerably there has still been a lack of volume movement. A number of the larger operations have tended to give staff that have remained loyal the promotion they deserve rather than hire externally and only in niche areas such as Cash Management, Trade Finance and Leverage Finance have we seen activity.

This was also upheld in our survey whereby employers (71%) admitted that the primary method to address the issue of talent shortages was to consider employees with the potential to develop first rather than sourcing externally. We expect this to continue into 2016 and foresee steady growth at a junior level.Looking ahead into 2016, we would expect a similar trend to continue and believe that the alternative lending market will
prove a significant player in candidate movement as not only will they be hiring key staff as they grow, but gaps will be left behind successful movers. Activity will be strong within the retail banking space and we expect a trend of growth to remain in the Private Banking/Wealth Management sector.

In Summary

We are expecting further growth in hiring across all areas in Financial Services well into 2016 as companies expand operations and teams. With the arrival of newly created roles in Ireland, there is a positive outlook in this sector and increased confidence in the Irish Market.

For a full list of opportunities in Banking & Financial Services, please click on the following link, you can also contact me on 01-661 0444 or email an updated CV to eblake@lincoln.ie

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