Financial Services Accounting Market Update Q1, 2020

January 10

Overall, 2019 has been another busy year for Accounting and Finance in Financial Services.  Across the spectrum of experience, from junior and part-qualified accountants, newly and recently qualified accountants to senior-level and C-suite appointments, the demand has generally outstripped the supply.

Of course, within this spectrum, there are areas of greater and lesser demand. Specifically, at the more junior end, the continued health of the economy has meant that it is business as usual: The creation of new roles alongside the natural attrition that a healthy economy generates has resulted in a very high demand for candidates in the latter stages of their accounting studies and those who are recently qualified. This increase in demand has had the effect of raising the salary expectations of candidates up to around 2 years post-qualified. At that point, salaries tend to level off.

At the more senior end, demand is more of a mixed bag. On the one hand, the uncertainty of the political situation in the UK has meant that a number of organisations have either pressed the pause button on hiring or have decided to hire the minimum number of positions required to satisfy the Central Bank.  On the other hand, some organisations have pressed ahead regardless. What this has meant for candidates and businesses alike is that there has been some movement, but perhaps not as much as might have been expected when the UK decided to leave the EU in June 2016.

Interestingly, the Banking sector has seen an increase in demand in Treasury, Risk, and Regulatory Reporting candidates with knowledge of Capital Markets/Investment Banking products that has previously not existed in Dublin. We would predict that this trend will continue into 2020. Hiring businesses that are able to be more flexible and creative in their expectations of candidates are going to be the most successful in filling their positions. 

Within Insurance and Asset Management, Brexit has created some fantastic opportunities, as have Mergers, Acquisitions and Disposals. In these sectors, supply and demand is still an issue as well as perhaps the lack of experience in the Asset Management/Hedge Fund world, and like Banking, the businesses that are willing to hire on potential and take time to train candidates are going to be the most successful.

Flexible working/working from home and a desire for better work–life balance are high on the wish list for candidates, so the organisations that can offer this will be the ones that succeed in hiring the top talent.

In conclusion, our position is one of optimism for 2020 and beyond. There have been some fantastic opportunities created over the last 12 months and we have been able to place candidates with some amazing organisations. Irish candidates previously based overseas are starting to return, which is helping to ease some of the supply and demand issues, and we would expect further new roles to be created.

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About the Author

Warren Hilton

Warren Hilton

Head of Finance & Accounting – Financial Services 1 661 0444

Warren comes to Lincoln with over 11 years' experience in recruitment in professional services. Warren has led and managed recruitment teams in both London and Dublin across a number of disciplines. Prior to joining Lincoln, Warren led the Irish office of a UK based recruiter. Warren holds a BA Hons in History from the University of York and specialises in recruitment in the banking and capital markets sectors.

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