Quarterly Market Update
Welcome to the first edition of Goodman Masson’s quarterly client newsletter for the Product Control market. The purpose of this document is to give you a succinct overview of the employment market and to identify any trends or developments across the across the UK.
Please scroll down to read the update in full, or use the quick links below to navigate to the most relevant sections.
As this is the first time I have sent this to you I would be keen to hear your thoughts and comments, whether or not you find it useful, and what you would like to see included in future editions. If you would like to give feedback, please reply to this email with your comments, and I will try to incorporate any suggestions in the future.
Should you have any further thoughts or queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)20 7019 8867, and I will contact you at a convenient time.
Oliver Ottey | Executive Consultant - Product Control, Projects & Valuations
Banking & Financial Services
Direct: +44 (0)20 7019 8867
Demand for hiring across the middle office slowed in Q1 following an unusually busy Q4, however towards the end of Q1 we did see the market beginning to improve again. In effect, Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 were transposed from usual historical levels as Q1 is historically busier than the preceding quarter.
The strong finish that we witnessed at the end of 2009 was a result of major financial institutions utilising the remainder of their recruitment budget, in addition to taking advantage of a rare opportunity to hire across all levels at that time of the year. This was largely due a sense amongst candidates that they were unlikely to receive a bonus.
State of the Market - Q1
The slow start seen at the start of 2010 is a direct result of firms holding back whilst awaiting the results of attrition levels post bonus announcements. There were some exceptions to the rule, as a number of firms did buck this trend within certain product areas, seeking expertise in Credit, Rates and FX options.
As discussed, the tail end of Q1 has seen increased activity as most firms are now clear on their own attrition as well as budget and subsequent headcounts for 2010.
One specific area where there has been increased demand is hiring at the Newly Qualified ACA level. Whilst this market has changed over the last couple of years (a number of major firms are off-shoring the work that would have been done by these hires to focus on more senior hiring), there still remains strong and active demand. There was a major decrease during the downturn and the recovery has been slow, with sustained demand at any one bank fairly rare. However, since late Q3 2009, the volume of Newly Qualified headcount/hires has risen at an unprecedented rate.
It is worth highlighting that we have also seen a marked increase in remuneration for this candidate pool. Some firms now offer basics of up to £60k, although this has really just increased the ranges available. These levels are mainly reserved for ACA’s from the banking and financial services teams within the Big 4 joining the investment banks.
Business Analysts are also witnessing an increase in demand, in addition to other individuals to support specific projects.
While Project/Programme Management roles have been available in volume, for both Temporary and Permanent hires, across the top tier Investment Banks, we are now also seeing a new upturn in the demand for Product Controllers to move in to Business Analyst/Change positions. This demand has proven popular with a number of Controllers looking to move away from pure line/production roles. Hiring managers are keen to secure candidates that have strong derivatives knowledge, strong knowledge of the Balance Sheet/Sub Ledger, an Accountancy qualification and some projects experience, thus matching the profile of a large number of controllers.
The suitability of Controllers for these positions is also enhanced as the current Business Analyst demands are focused on middle office and change management as opposed to non-line or more traditional accountancy backgrounds.
In terms of compensation, once again we are seeing a situation where investment banks are competing within a restricted candidate pool and thus competing financially for their services. Whilst this has not yet reached the levels seen at the top of the Bull market, competition via remuneration is still significant and the impact of this ‘war for talent’ is further seen in the regularity of counter offers being made to candidates. Such offers have taken the form of promotions, salary increases and guarantees.
Throughout the year I will keep you up to date with current market information, the first of such being the 2010 Salary Guide. As mentioned, should there be anything other than what we send you that you would be interested in receiving, please don’t hesitate to contact me and we will endeavour to include this in the next Quarterly update.
2010 Salary Guide
How have salaries been affected by the economic conditions of the past 12 months? If you have not yet received a copy of the 2010 Salary Guide and would like to be sent this, please contact me.
About Goodman Masson
Goodman Masson is the largest Independent Financial Recruiter in the UK and has been recruiting professionally qualified accountants and other finance professionals for over 16 years. With a team of over 90 we hold annual revenues exceeding £15m. Our growth has been built around our knowledge and expertise within the Finance markets and in 2009 alone we successfully worked with 991 separate organisations. Our client portfolio ranges from the Big 4 firms to small independents and the FTSE 100 (67 out of 100) to small entrepreneurial start ups.
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