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Banking & Financial Services Jobs - Market Overview 2018

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The financial services industry in Ireland employs approximately 40,000 people and has over 400 financial services companies with over one-third of those employed in companies based outside the greater Dublin area. Recent  predications indicate that the industry has the potential to grow significantly and may well employ over 50,000 people by the end of 2020.


Thoughts on the Market

Brexit is proving to be one of the major catalysts for growth in the industry. Over the course of 2017, Ireland was endorsed as a destination of choice by a number of high profile financial services companies who announced that they intend to set up operations or expand their existing operations here in Ireland.  These announcements have been warmly welcomed by the industry but are sure to bring with them many recruitment and retention challenges as demand for skilled professionals looks set to heat up even further.

Ireland is still the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone and is set to become the only remaining member of the EU with English as it’s primary language. It is a preferred destination for EU nationals who have English as their 2nd language.  11% of people employed in Ireland are from other EU countries compared to 5% in Germany and 2% in France. Being able to tap into the Eurozone with a population of over 503,000,000 and attract professionals to Ireland has proven to be both challenging and successful for financial services groups in Ireland sourcing talent within the area of risk, front office, investment management, client services and back office. In 2018 It will be critical to continue to attract talent to our shores in order to fuel the predicted growth in the industry.


The candidate demand increase in 2017 resulted in re-alignment of salaries upwards across many sections in the industry. Companies providing a wide selection of benefits to their employees are benefiting from better employee retention rates compared to those who are still offering minimal benefits as they play an integral part in a potential employee’s decision-making process.


Funds & Investment

Transfer agency and fund administration saw a little growth over the last 12 months. The landscape in Ireland has changed due to the number of mergers and acquisitions in this space. With many fund administration operations having been outsourced to lower cost economies, quite a number of operations in Ireland primarily provide an oversight function. Salaries have seen an increase on average of  5-12%. We should continue to see a demand for skills in this sector throughout 2018.  Business analysis and project management will remain high. Product knowledge within UCITS or private equity will continue to be sought after.

Trustee saw gradual growth in 2017 with a shortage of expertise in the area driving up salaries by between 10-15%. Candidates with a strong operational background within fund accounting are now considered as a viable alternative up to supervisory level. Custody has also seen continued growth, while candidates with custody experience are seen as suitable employees for other operational functions (trade support/middle office) due to their transferable skillset.

The greatest single area of growth in the Irish market over the past year has been in the area of middle office and trade support operations, with a growth of 8% in employment within the area. Companies opening new operations in Ireland are viewed as employers of choice and as such able to keep salaries within current market rates.  

While Dublin is traditionally known for its back and middle office operations, a number of investment managers, stockbrokers and proprietary trading houses expanded their front office functions in Ireland in 2017. Post-Brexit, many candidates in London are now very open to relocating to Ireland, in addition to candidates throughout Europe who wish to work in an English speaking economy within the EU. There is expected continued growth in this area with London becoming a prominent supply line of candidates for roles within portfolio management, trading and quantitative risk.


Banking

Banks based in Ireland have gone through radical changes over the last few years. While the main banks are now back in profit there still remains a lot of challenges ahead for this banking sector. Salaries increased in this area over the course of 2017 and permanent opportunities have been on the rise across banks and credit unions. There has been an increase in opportunities in the area of SME lending and demand for skilled APA and QFA professionals remains steady.

The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will open up the world of banking and no doubt generate new ways to make payments. It is sure to herald further innovation and changes for this industry over the coming 12 months.


Compliance & Risk

The past few years have been a constant challenge for compliance & risk teams within financial services and by all accounts, 2018 will still be challenging. Whether preparing for Brexit, preparing for increased regulatory scrutiny, preparing for a clampdown on cryptocurrencies or preparing to reduce reputational risk – 2018 will no doubt bring new challenges for compliance & risk professionals across financial services and as such demand for their skills will remain high.


Salaries

Salaries have not increased in any significant way over the last 12 months but due to competition for talent and retention counter-offer strategies, many employers seem more prepared to offer prospective employees the latter end of the market salary ranges for their positions.


Top Tip for 2018

In order to stay ahead of the competition for new career opportunities, it is important for candidates to invest in themselves through further education, to complement their existing skillset. 



Looking for a banking and finance job? Check out our latest jobs here

Posted by Niall Foster on 26 April 2018

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