Change - Market Intel
Written by Andrew Martin on 25/01/2017
Thus far in Q1 2017, we’ve seen a stronger uplift in role volumes than expected on the contract side of the market, within both Banking and Asset Management. Regulatory requirements continue to dominate on both Buy & Sell side and following efforts in previous years to redress the balance between contractor and permanent delivery resource, the pendulum has continued to swing back in favour of temp dominated contractor led teams. In previous years we’ve seen line managers on both side of the market seeking to strengthen permanent leadership capability within Change, aimed at reducing siloed working practices and eliminating both knowledge base turnover and key-man risk at Project & Programme level.
The approach of utilising transversal Change skills, across multiple functional areas however, requires SME support and with budgetary restrictions increasing, resource has not been available, leading businesses into the market, competing for shallow contractor pools with both formal Change delivery skills and high levels of specific functional, or regulatory expertise.
Implementation of new regulatory policy, with MiFID II predictably dominant, has been a keen driver behind IB contractor hiring requirements thus far, with less than 300 working days to the deadline for delivery, approvals have been more forthcoming than in the latter half of 2016 and focus has shifted towards solutions delivery, with hands on BA experience the key level of demand. Candidates with the depth of experience to step up and lead project workstream delivery, also remain at a premium. Key areas of candidate shortage thus far have been those relating to Product governance/Investor protection and we’re seeing some success with BA candidates, who although lacking previous regulatory policy coverage, do have deep operational SME around impacted business functions, perhaps reflecting the breadth of MIFID II regulatory impact.
Additional areas of demand remain those relating to the remediation of historic failings in controls, as well as Structural reform focused around non-Ringfenced activities and initiation of operational efficiency and right-shoring work, relating to location and structure of business functions, perhaps not unsurprisingly, in the wake of ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the ongoing need to extract maximum efficiency from headcount spend.
The Regulatory trend has been similar on the buy-side of the market, with many small-to-medium sized houses grappling with proportionality in relation to the level of investment required to meet the scope of MiFID II activity, in comparison to the scale of the underlying business.
January 2017 has seen several accountable executives on MiFID II, returning to market for additional resource to support ongoing activities and with previously suspended work relating to PRIIPs and additional delivery around cleared/uncleared OTC resulting from EMIR updates, meaning contractor demand is expected to remain high throughout the remainder of Q1.
Generally smaller scale infrastructure on the Buy-side has rendered the requirement for directly aligned business functional expertise has been even more acute within fund management.
MiFID II streams relating to front-to-back trading process, have seen some lateral movement of candidates from the Sell-side, those candidates being attracted by the exposure to a greater breadth and variety of work within smaller programme teams, allied with higher levels of exposure to a more immediate senior stakeholder and sponsor group.
In other areas however, direct previous buy-side experience remains a core requirement when sourcing. Similarly to the Sell-side, candidates with exposure to Product and Distribution remain in short supply, with several business looking into BAU Product Development/Management functions for project hires, due to similarities in working practices to Change and high degrees of relevant functional SME.