Which banking jobs offer the best nexus between pay and opportunities for 2013? Predictably, they're not front office sales and trading or M&A roles, for which banks are still seeking to cut costs. Instead, recruiters and consultants point to a few key areas. One is compliance.
"Compliance hiring will continue in 2013," says Klaus Woeste, associate partner for people change in the financial services sector at KPMG. For the moment, most banks are still unwilling to hire ex-traders or salespeople into compliance jobs, says Woeste, but this may change. "There's a real role for front office people in compliance. Unlike many people who've spent all their careers in risk, they know the business ," he adds.
Following the arrival of Hector Sants, Barclays may well upgrade its compliance function next year. BDO and DLA Piper recently issued a report based upon a survey of 350 financial services firms suggesting banks will need to increase their compliance headcount by 40-50% in the coming few years and therefore to hire thousands of extra staff. Meanwhile, Robert Half says average compliance salaries have increased 7% this year and are now £100k.
"Compliance will be very active in 2013," says Marina Law, manager of compliance recruitment at Robert Walters. "We're expecting an influx of new roles in January." She adds that very few compliance professionals in banks have been made redundant: they appear to have been "ring-fenced."
The bad news is that in order to earn £100k in compliance, you'll need at least 7 years' compliance experience says Law. Junior compliance jobs requiring limited experience are, "heavily oversubscribed," she adds. If you lose your job in sales or trading and want to move into compliance, Law says you may have a chance of getting in to a mid-ranking position, but that to do you'll need to show that you really want to work in compliance - not that you're simply a salesperson who can't find anything else. Knowledge of Dodd Frank, MiFID II, the FSA Handbook or the workings of the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group will all help.
Outside compliance, Gail Connolly, managing consultant at recruitment firm PSD Group, says there's big demand for people to work in liquidity risk and liquidity management roles, and that six figure salaries plus bonuses of up to 75% are also on offer here. "Banks are creating a lot more director-level roles for liquidity risk specialists," says Connolly. In the past, she says liquidity risk professionals would report to the CFO beyond a certain level of seniority. Now they're reporting to senior liquidity specialists instead.
Finally, project and change management jobs in banks will likely remain hot next year. Recruitment firm Astbury Marsden says project managers in banks can earn salaries of up to £100k, plus bonuses of £15k maximum. Project managers in hedge funds can earn £110k, plus £30k of bonuses, says Astbury Marsden.
Charlotte Dixon, senior projects recruiter at Robert Walters says project management hiring will definitely remain "active" in 2013. Even better, Dixon suggests there may be opportunities for front office bankers without project management experience to move into the roles. "It's a competitive market, but people with strong communication skills and and good stakeholder management skills could be candidates in this area," she says.