There have been plenty of grumpy Wall Street executives lately, with bonuses down an average of 10% by some accounts and predictions New York is about to lose thousands financial services jobs this year, it's not looking particularly bright.
However, while trader floors shrink and operations jobs are shipped to lower-cost destinations, there are other areas that are thriving. Here are six less-than-obvious bright spots where Wall Street banks and other financial services firms are looking to hire now.
1. Project managers and business analysts
Project managers and business analysts have had plenty of work over the past few years, as banks implement large-scale projects to ensure they're compliant with the huge amount of regulatory change. Now, financial services organisations are looking at projects that enhance the efficiency and profitability of their operations, says Peter Laughter, CEO of Wall Street Services.
“Those professionals that have skills that can improve revenues will increasingly be in demand – these are the project managers and business analysts who can do technology implementations that enhance the firm's abilities to generate income, Laughter says.
2. Vendor sourcing and governance specialists
The Federal Reserve is setting policies and guidelines and looking at how Wall Street banks are dealing with their vendor sourcing and vendor governance.
“That’s a new trend that the banks are working on, setting up new governance around their service provider sourcing and vendor governance policies, which is a new regulatory area,” says Ellen Marcus, the president of Marcus & Associates. “They want auditors and compliance specialists to fill these roles.”
3. Model validators and risk management specialists with CCAR experience
The Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) is forcing banks banks to improve the evaluation of their internal risk models, which has created a lot of demand for quantitative model validators. Many former front-office quants, compliance officers, risk specialists, project managers and accountants are shifting into this area.
Foreign banks with an intermediate holding company (IHC) housing its U.S. subsidiaries have been hiring CCAR specialists like crazy, both for in-house roles and consultants. And while the hiring frenzy has wound down from its peak, as many of the biggest banks have already made their big push to add headcount in this area, this role is still in-demand.
“The skills that are in the most demand and the hardest to find are the roles requiring experience very specific to CCAR such as scenario design, documentation and aggregation roles, as well as regulatory reporting roles,” Marcus says.
Depending on the candidate’s level of experience, pay for CCAR-oriented roles at banks ranges between $90k and $400k. A more lucrative route could be to work for an independent consultant - these roles usually pay twice as much as a salaried job within a bank, says Marcus.
“We are seeing consultants with some CCAR experience – even some who don’t have deep knowledge – make 2X what they were earning as a permanent employee,” Marcus said. “If they were earning $150k as a base salary at a bank, as a consultant charging at an hourly rate, they could be making $300k.
4. Machine learning experts
Investment banks understand that they need to bolster their information technology expertise, and some are even taking their cue from Silicon Valley innovations. Goldman Sachs has machine learning teams and other banks have started hiring in this area.
5. Directors of data and analytics
This function has become so significant that these roles are being created in both the business and IT departments of Wall Street banks.
6. Fintech and IT roles you might not have heard of
Really hot areas in terms of demand from banks of all sizes are fintech and new IT roles that didn’t exist a decade ago.
All financial services firms are technology-based, and many are currently looking to hire people with experience in data science, analytics, anything that has to do with mobile or the cloud, user experience (UX), Java, Python and C++ developers and programmers.
“Think about how firms, from the largest investment bank to the smallest boutique, reach and serve their customers – it’s all based on technology,” says Jeanne Branthover, a partner at DHR International.
Photo credit: wildpixel/iStock/Thinkstock