Financial and Capital Markets

  1. How would we describe the current recruitment environment? How has this impacted on compensation?
    • It has been a challenging few years in Bonds and FICC markets with lots of effort for (lot less that pre-GFC) reward payoff. So no real change in base salaries but bonuses are well off pre GFC and consistent with the past few years.
    • However, 2015 has been a little more upbeat. FICC Sales & Trading has been mixed in terms of volume and therefore a lot less hiring. As with the loan markets, firms have been taking a good look at their offering to market and have been making some hard decisions on what is / is not core business. This also includes looking at what teams / products / functions should be located locally or in the region.
    • DCM is still active but issuance was down on previous years, but showing some promising market activity – again mainly in the corporate space. So whilst teams aren’t having as good a year as prior, there has still been a few hires across different levels.
    • ECM activity has also been up off the back of increase M&A deals with a steady finish to 2015 expected, but hasn’t translated to the same relative increase in hiring. So capital markets is showing some light and will be interesting to see what year end brings re: bonuses.
  2. Any client or candidate trends observed since the start of the year?
    • Sales and trading teams and platforms are shrinking as has been the case in recent years. With lower trading volumes per above, there is a lot of enquiry to move to alternate roles and ‘apply the skills in a different way’. Examples of this might be institutional / corporate sales moving to coverage roles and traders looking at risk management positions. Both not easy given lower hiring activity in those spaces.
    • Capital markets is very much hiring the usual suspects so shortlists are not erring to far from the index.
  3. Any predictions for the rest of this year / beginning of 2016?
    • It is really a case of markets needing to maintain the confidence trajectory along with general sentiment. The challenge is more around regulatory and risk appetite.
      So some firms are giving real consideration to their offering in this area.
    • A few hires in corporate derivatives sales/structuring area has been a flash of light in an otherwise sluggish market.
      It’s really a matter of how best to have the platform in line with other profit generating businesses.

Patrick Everest
02 9235 9440