Funds & Banking Q2 2023 Market Update

General observations

There was an initial cooling within the Funds market from the frenetic activity of the previous two years. Despite some recent negative market sentiment across the Tech and Financial Services industries, Fund Administrators have remained committed to hiring externally and the market remains very candidate driven. Whilst we have seen a partial decline in the number of new jobs being created across the sector, there are still significant opportunities for candidates and high levels of movement thereby driving demand from employers to backfill roles. As we move into Q3, there are indications, although anecdotal, that the market is experiencing a resurgence in activity, showing signs of gaining momentum. Some firms are taking proactive steps and pressing ahead with business expansions.

In terms of specific disciplines within Fund Administration, we continue to see strong demand across most areas as listed below.

• Hedge and Private Assets in Fund Accounting.
• Due Diligence for onboarding and KYC refresh/remediation.
• Transfer Agency requiring A-Z experience and ETF backgrounds.
• Depositary roles requiring non-functionalized experience.

Since the end of 2022, we have seen the highest levels of demand for candidates at Supervisor and Manager levels.

Fund Management Companies remain an attractive option for candidates currently working in Fund Administration firms, although we have seen a softening in hiring activity in recent months due to a slowdown in new market entrants and mergers in the Third Party ManCo space. Some candidates are also seeking a return to administration companies, citing a lack of structure and paths of progression in ManCos.

Banking & wealth management

Despite the exits of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank from the Irish market, the retail banking sector has demonstrated resilience and remains largely buoyant. Notwithstanding the challenges posed by these exits, hiring in the retail banking sector has remained consistent, and particularly within the pillar banks.

The outlook for the Irish banking sector appears positive, according to recent assessments. The expectation is that Ireland will experience domestic economic growth of approximately 2.0% in 2023. This economic growth is supported by low unemployment rates, currently at 3.8% which is expected to bolster the sector. Based on these positive factors, the economic risk assessment for the banking sector has been revised upward. Credit rating agencies have raised their ratings on the pillar banks, further solidifying the strength of the industry. On the international front, the global banks have been faced with some cost pressures and head count freezes in traditional growth areas. However, despite this, recruitment activity remains largely positive and still a solid option for candidates seeking pastures new.

In demand

  •  Mortgage Advisors
  •  Credit Analysts
  •  Risk Analysts
  •  Corporate Banking Relationship Managers
  •  Branch Banking Advisors
  •  Treasury Dealers
  •  Transaction Reporting

There has been discernible strength in the Wealth Management space with firms increasingly looking for professionals who can offer comprehensive and tailored financial planning services to clients. This includes various aspects of their financial needs addressing financial advice, investment strategies, pensions and retirement planning, risk management, tax planning, and estate planning.

We are seeing a rising demand for candidates in pensions and retirement planning which has been largely driven by an increased focus on long-term financial security. As individuals and families seek to secure their financial future, professionals with in-depth knowledge of pension schemes, retirement accounts, and investment options have been sought after. Professionals with private client experience were considered highly desirable. This expertise demonstrated the ability to work closely with high-net-worth individuals and cater to their unique financial needs, investment goals, and risk tolerances. Holistic financial planning experience has certainly been a key differentiator for wealth management professionals and firms value candidates who can take a comprehensive approach to financial planning, considering all aspects of a client’s financial situation to provide tailored and strategic advice.

In demand

  •  Private Client Advisors
  •  Financial Planning Managers
  •  Pension Advisors
  •  Wealth Managers

Advice to jobseekers

Considering long-term career goals and aligning with the right employer is crucial for building a successful and fulfilling career. While a competitive salary is essential, it should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing a job opportunity. Factors like company culture, values, growth opportunities, work-life balance, and alignment with personal career objectives should be taken into account too. Also, do not underestimate the power of Networking!

Advice to employers

In a candidate-driven job market, where job seekers have more options and opportunities, employers need to be proactive and efficient in their hiring and onboarding processes. We see the below points as crucial to being successful in making the desired hire.

  •  Streamline interview process
  •  Compete with Counteroffers
  •  Flexible working arrangements
  •  Showcase company culture
  •  Engaging candidate experience

By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your organisation’s ability to attract and secure top candidates in a competitive job market. Focusing on efficiency, agility, and flexibility while demonstrating a commitment to employee well-being can set your organisation apart and attract the best talent for your team.

Overall observations

Salaries remain a significant driver for candidates, but there is also a growing desire for flexibility and work-life balance, with many seeking an employer commitment of no more than 1-2 days per week required for office attendance.

While the market remains buoyant, candidates are being selective in their job searches, looking for opportunities that offer not only attractive salaries but also flexibility, work-life balance, and clear paths for career progression.

Conor O'Reilly avatar
Head of Funds & Banking
+353 1 649 8591