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Post-Brexit preparations top finance jobs list

Despite Brexit, the UK remains a major financial hub for banking and investment management where hiring was necessary to accommodate how banks and firms continue to operate within the UK, says Morgan McKinley’s Marcus Williams.

Marcus Williams

March 2019

The main trends of 2018 driving accounting and finance recruitment were the demands for strong technical ACA accountants and commercial professionals with extensive experience in budgeting and forecasting. The uncertainty around Brexit and offshoring of finance functions created a sense of hesitation for many individuals to come to market, however those who were keen to move were able to demand a higher compensation package due to a skills shortage.

In 2018 businesses across all industries were considering their headcount costs and action plans for Brexit in 2019. When hiring, CFOs were much more conscious of their recruitment budgets and increased the focus on bringing in top professionals with an excellent academic record and proven career experience in terms of adding value.

There was increased competition for top talent across the markets with many new fintech companies offering attractive compensation packages and flexible working hours that many individuals were swayed towards when making their decision on job offers.

Other key highlights were:


  • Challenger and smaller banks increased hiring with financial institutions battling with exciting fintech companies for high calibre talent.
  • Uplift in demand for specialist hires in areas such as IFRS 9 and IFRS 15, valuations and regulatory reporting across London as hiring managers recognised headcount had to be filled with high calibre professionals.
  • Counter-offers were rife, resulting in organisations paying over the odds to retain staff.
  • Temporary hiring was required off the back of new legislations concerning how banks will operate within the UK.

Investment management

  • ACA retained its prestige, but ACCA and CIMA became popular as hiring managers looked for professionals with hands-on accounting and business knowledge.
  • Asset management industry addressed gender imbalance at senior management level with a request for balanced shortlists.
  • Professionals were attracted to companies that embraced technology such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Commerce and industry

  • ACA qualified candidates continued to be the most attractive qualification.
  • Organisations in London were reluctant to hire contractors as a clear preference for permanent employees was seen.
  • Positive hiring of qualified finance professionals within SME market.
  • Demand for international experience and language skills, as well as those with experience of integrating new systems and processes.
  • Shortage of skills led to pressures on cash flow and challenges that inhibited growth plans.

Marcus Williams is associate director of financial services at Morgan McKinley.

Morgan McKinley’s 2019 UK Accounting & Finance salary guides provide a review of 2018, encompassing the recruitment of accounting and finance professionals into banking, investment management and commerce & industry. The guides highlight popular roles, skills and qualifications, as well as salary and contract figures.

View the 2019 Morgan McKinley Salary Guides.

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