Banking and Financial Services Market Update Q2 2016
The unthinkable has happened and Brexit has been voted in, what effect that will have on the market is up for debate but for the moment we will just have to wait and see. We have already witnessed some investment banks relocate part of their front office teams to Dublin and although more will likely follow suit and bring new opportunity we have to wonder what the negative impact on other areas will look like.
In our last update, we addressed the increasing war on talent and this has not abated with counter offers becoming more and more regular and salary increases for moving reaching higher levels. Roles that were previously offered as fixed term contracts are now permanent and career progression is once again becoming the main push factor for job seekers. Strong employer branding and cultural fit are becoming important again as candidates become more selective with increased opportunity in the market with employers having to work even harder to secure their preferred hire.
We previously highlighted the emergence of alternative lenders into the Dublin market and this has really gathered pace. Highly qualified candidates coming from Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Accountancy, Corporate and Commercial Banking have been in high demand in this sector considering the huge variety in investment focus. From Invoice Finance to Mezzanine Debt funds there is ample opportunity for those who would rather an alternative to the traditional banking route. Roles vary from analyst positions, relationship managers all the way up to Investment Director Level.
Another area that has continued to show very high activity is the personal banking space from top tier Private Banking right the way through Wealth management, high-end personal banking and traditional retail roles. A huge portion of future banking strategy lies within the personal or retail space and banks have been focussed on ensuring that they secure top talent to service the area. They have faced competition in the form of Life and Pension companies and boutique Wealth or Investment advisory houses and candidates who have experience successfully advising on Investment Product have been in high demand.
We had predicted that there would be a slowdown in the restructuring and recovery arms of the banks and although that was true for the first 4 months of the year we have started to see this steadily increase. This has been due largely to staff attrition within these areas with candidates moving to new business areas or out into the wider market with boutique players. Loan portfolios within these areas are still significant and the potential cost to leaving them short staffed has meant that a number of larger institutions have had to once again look to the external market for staff. The area has actually become very competitive as there was once again activity in the sale of certain loan portfolios and the successful bidders for these projects have had to ensure adequate staffing levels to service them. This has led to serious pressure on mid-level candidates as the majority of employers are looking at a minimum of 4 years but maximum salary caps are employed meaning more senior candidates are not being considered at the moment.
What can we expect for the remainder of the year?
While we expect hiring to continue in the loan servicing and portfolio management space we don’t believe this to be long term and once staff levels are at an acceptable level this will quieten down coming towards the end of the year. Corporate banking has been quiet enough in the first half of the year with only strategic hiring or replacement hiring taking place and we expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. Personal banking has been at the forefront of recruitment and we expect this to continue along with upward pressure on salary levels given the demands within the market. Alternative lenders will continue to play a role and we anticipate corporate finance and private equity houses to remain active.
If you are thinking of a move this Q3, for a confidential discussion please contact me on EBlake@lincoln.ie or call 01 661 0444.