Change Management & Technology Market Review 2019

Written by Raj Dhanapala on 08/07/2019

Change Management & Technology Market Review 2019


Overview


The change and technology recruitment market during 2018 and Q1 2019 has been driven
by firms focusing on streamlining front line business architecture and improving existing
technology infrastructure to deliver efficiencies and cost savings.

2018 saw several key regulatory reforms come to natural conclusion namely MIFID II (Jan 18)
and GDPR (May 18) all being delivered in H1 2018. Firms continued to focus on “Hard
Brexit” planning given the political stalemate to deliver a Brexit deal for the UK to exit the EU
on the 29th March 2019. We saw several senior program and project hires to deliver analysis
on firm’s existing operating model vs future outsourced operations and ensuring delegation
rules/models where approved by local regulators. We have seen the ongoing transfer of assets,
and the establishment of new legal entities and MANCO registrations in Europe to ensure
ongoing investment management activities into Europe.

Key Hiring Areas

A key focus area has been the ongoing optimization of the current Investment Operations model
and Technology Architecture. Within Investment Operations, firms have looked to hire
Business Analysts to identifying key processes that can be optimized via new Fintech solutions
covering core operational activities namely regulatory reporting, trade matching, confirmations,
reconciliations, payments and block chain technology. Firms have increased sponsorship and
funding for Robotic Processes Automation (RPA) initiatives within the Buy Side. Demand for
Process BA’s with experience reviewing Fintech solutions and proposals to implement and
deliver RPA cost savings have been evident and this will continue in a cost saving environment.


Several Funds have continued implementing vendor-based Portfolio Management Systems
(PMS) / Order Management Systems (OMS) to provide front to back investment and risk
management solutions. Clients who have implemented, for example the BlackRock Aladdin
platform to help manage assets, liabilities, debt and derivatives have seen the need to build inhouse
teams post implementation. Technology hires to provide technical support and ongoing
customization across the PMS/OMS solutions; whilst reducing the reliance on vendors like
BlackRock Solutions (BRS) to provide 1st line application support. Along with initiatives to
help implement further plug-ins and enhancements. We have seen several institutional
funds implementing BRS Aladdin platform, several clients have continued to hire Change
and Technology specialist across Charles River IMS, Thinkfolio, SimCorp, Bloomberg
AIM, Finastra (Misys FusionInvest), SS&C and Markit EDM solutions.

Demand for Buy Side Data professionals with Investment Management experience has
increased significantly. Clients are moving ahead with building Enterprise Data Management
teams to understanding data flows across the business, improve data repositories and warehouse
solutions. Several funds have moved forward with the implementation of EDM Markit solution
and we have seen direct increase in demand and requirements for Market Data Implementation
BA’s and SQL Developers to support the implementation phase. We have seen an acute
shortage of technical developers with experience across SQL Scripting, twinned with
Investment product knowledge and object orientated programming languages in C++, C# and
Python. Clients are openly looking for candidates with hybrid skill set and programming
competency given the limited number of resources available in current teams and reduce time to
deliver and dependency on technology development teams.

Outlook

We expect many clients to continue to push forward with optimization initiatives across
the business and streamline technology architecture.

Firms have progressed on regulatory deliverables for 2019 including Senior Managers &
Certification Regime (SMCR) due on the 9th Dec 2019. The Alternative Investment Fund
Management Directive (AIFMD) regulatory framework covering the “alternative” asset
management and hedge funds space will be busy. Further reviews in UCITS and rules on mutual
funds resulting in tighter regulatory rules will result in further remediation initiatives. Clients
will look to increase hires to meet pre/post regulatory reporting requirements covering FCA
Gabriel submissions and European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), Securities
Financing Transaction Regulation (SFTR). With go-live phase to begin 12mths before expected
April 2020 delivery for Investment and Insurance firms. Projects around SFTR transaction
reporting, disclosure obligations and collateral reuse obligations will act as key sponsor for
hiring change and technology professionals.

Finally, the Asset Management Market Study for UK Asset Managers and Solvency II directive
will require asset managers to make further progress on data quality, governance and
disclosures. Well prepared asset managers that offer Solvency II adapted products and
reporting will gain a competitive advantage and influence firms to secure budgets to invest in
improving data quality, governance and disclosure reporting.

Compensation

With a natural conclusion of several regulatory deliverables like MIFID II, GDPR and
Brexit (March 2019) we have seen daily rates for interim change professionals reduce and
firms looking to substitute in favor of permanent hires. In contrast technology professionals
with expertise across specific PMS/OMS platforms twinned with the ability to develop in
object orientated programming languages have been in heavy demand and short supply. Buy
Side Change & Technology professionals with hybrid business, technology and regulatory
knowledge can expect to be in demand for H2 in 2019.

Raj Dhanapala
T: +44 (0) 20 3301 4964
E: Raj.Dhanapala@blackswangroup.com

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