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No Brexit brake on City jobs

Morgan McKinley’s Marcus Williams looks at how recruitment has changed in the first half of 2018 and predicts a busy market with premium pay offers in the coming months for experienced hires.

Marcus Williams

October 2018

The current market has given accountants few reasons to doubt changing jobs prior to March 2019. Across financial services, job opportunities have risen and the demand for skilled professionals has increased.

However, some organisations, particularly in the financial services sector, have opened offices in Europe to outsource certain finance functions which could see individuals lose their jobs in London. These functions typically include product control and transaction-based work. Depending on the organisation, individuals are normally offered an alternative role internally or have the option to take voluntary redundancy.

Not only did the volume of jobs increase in the first half of 2018, the ratio of applicants to vacant positions also increased. This would suggest that accountants are not fearful of Brexit and are actually taking advantage of a buoyant market. It is of course good news in the contracting space for candidates working on Brexit programmes, although the long-term future is unknown.

The permanent FS market in London saw demand for strong IFRS experience across newly qualified and technical accounting positions, specific derivatives knowledge for Investment Banking valuations roles, as well as multiple front office stakeholder experience for senior Business Partner and FP&A roles.

Fund accounting, business partnering and regulatory exposure were all desirable, as were ACA Big Four candidates who have group experience with consolidations. Senior level candidates had to display examples of process improvements at the interview stage.

We noticed a trend of clients looking for candidates who didn’t go to university but went straight into a role, either in industry or within professional services audit. Top tier investment banks continued to look for the best academic backgrounds - those with internships particularly standing out.

The third quarter is expected to be the busiest period of the year for FS permanent recruitment in London following on from a sharp increase in banking hires at the end of Q2. With Brexit restructuring plans slowing down, clients are focusing on hiring experienced talent into their London teams and are happy to pay a premium for their skill sets.

Top five roles in asset management 

  • Group Reporting: £60,000 - £80,000 
  • Fund Accountant (Real Estate & PE): £60,000 - £80,000 
  • Financial Planning & Analysis: £60,000 - £80,000 
  • Finance Manager: £65,000 - £75,000 
  • Junior Accountant: £30,000 - £35,000 

Top five roles in banking 

  • Group Reporting: £60,000 - £80,000 
  • Regulatory Reporting: £60,000 - £75,000 
  • Regulatory Policy: £70,000 - £100,000 
  • Valuations Group: £60,000 - £80,000 
  • FP&A: £60,000 - £75,000 

Highest paying roles in first half of 2018

  • Senior Fund Accounting positions: £80,000 - £120,000 
  • Mid to senior level Business Partnering, FP&A roles across the top tier investment banks: £80,000 - £120,000 
  • AVP Level Regulatory Reporting roles within the liquidity space: £60,000 - £100,000 

Marcus Williams is Associate Director Accounting and Finance at Morgan McKinley

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