Advisory has been the biggest growth area of compliance in 2015 with a focus on banks bringing in experienced and commercially minded compliance officers. The start of the year showed high demand for fixed income advisory candidates due to the FX scandal. Demand for candidates shifted in the latter-half of the year towards equity specialists with many banks looking to add senior candidates.
One particular area that has also seen high demand recently is compliance monitoring. VP level and above candidates are being sought to lead the build of new monitoring programs, whilst also looking for junior candidates to execute them. To address candidate shortages, hiring managers are becoming more flexible with their requirements. Internal auditors and consultants from the ‘big 4’ consultancies are becoming a go-to pool for candidates.
Many banks are also going to considerable lengths to keep staff happy; remote working, faster promotions and training contracts are becoming commonplace.
Within investment management (IM), hedge funds and asset managers are going through regulatory restructure and the need for additional resource is great. There is demand for compliance monitoring specialists and product specialists who can advise front office on deals and trades.
Benefits within IM have remained consistent in 2015. Compliance personnel are typically given bonuses of 15-25%. Some boutiques and hedge funds are offering more generous bonuses of up to 40% due to their exclusion from the SMR.
The market outlook for 2016 is strong. Demand for permanent staff is increasing due to changing regulations and under-resourced teams. London remains the hub of activity but ever more banks are outsourcing their compliance work to other areas of the UK such as Chester, Birmingham and Sheffield.