Q4 2016

Risk Management & Compliance

2016 has been another extremely busy year in terms of recruitment across the risk and compliance market in Australia.

There have been a number of moves at a Head of Risk/Compliance/Audit level, at both international and domestic firms. As a result our team has been mandated on a number of Chief Risk Officer, Head of Compliance and Head of Audit positions. Availability of experienced candidates for opportunities at this level have been reasonably high given the interest from Director level professionals looking to make career moves into overall "Head of" level positions.  Selection criteria for opportunities at this level is always very stringent, with many firms preferring to make lateral hires (at equivalent levels of seniority) as opposed to sourcing candidates making upward moves in seniority. 

The risk and compliance recruitment team at JS Careers has also been engaged on a number of Manager and Senior Manager market and credit risk opportunities this year. At this level candidate availability has been very low, with sourcing strategies focussed on not only the Australian market, but also candidates based offshore in Asia/US/UK. Our advice to clients when sourcing at this level is to ensure recruitment processes are swift and offers of employment are made at a competitive level.

Our team has continued to be extremely busy in sourcing the full range of team level and managerial positions across the compliance market. We have been busy across all asset classes, including wealth management (AVP/VP - global banks), retail banking (Manager level- global bank), and in particular investment banking (multiple roles up to Director level, across equities, FICC, control room, IBD advisory, monitoring and surveillance and compliance assurance/testing). Key markets of intense activity have been AML (all levels, all markets), compliance assurance, monitoring/surveillance and control room compliance.  There has continued to be upward pressure on salaries in this market and a shortage of junior to mid level candidates. 

The internal audit recruitment market has also continued to be active, with our team successfully completing a significant number of both contract and permanent searches for associate and manager level audit staff, mainly at Australian banks. Sourcing strategies have involved looking at both Australian candidates (onshore and offshore) and international candidates.

Our anticipation is that 2017 will be a very active year in terms of expansion of audit, risk and compliance teams. With the key challenges from 2016 being features of the new year - retention of key employees, and how to attract top performing talent in a highly competitive market. 

For a comprehensive discussion on recruitment activity across audit/risk/compliance please call - 02 8096 9412

Front Office

Hiring activity amongst the investment banks has remained at a healthy level this year, continuing to provide both Analyst and Associate level bankers with a range of external opportunities. Clearly, the privatisation and sale of numerous government infrastructure assets,  has provided a spike in activity within investment banking infrastructure coverage teams, this has been reflected by a general market increase in the demand for technically strong candidates to assist in the execution of such mandates. 

Through the course of 2016 JS Careers has been heavily involved in the growth of a number of startup firms and more established fintech organisations through assisting with strategic hiring.  These firms have sought our advice and services in sourcing junior to mid level bankers for a range of internal strategy, planning and analysis and operational roles. These new career opportunities have been highly sought after by candidates looking for a change of sector where they can continue to utilise their technical skills.

As we move closer to bonus season, Q4 can sometimes be a slightly more difficult time to move experienced candidates however we have had consistent success in sourcing experienced finance professionals for principal investing roles with major global infrastructure funds. These mandates are a further indication of the flow of work and deal activity offered to Analysts and Associates wishing to make the transition into investment roles, and take advantage of an exceptionally active and lucrative sector both in Australia and internationally.

Sectors we have noted where banks are looking to potentially increase headcount and capabilities over the next 3 - 6 months include Consumer, Media & Entertainment, Healthcare (particularly aged care), Financial Technology and Financial Institutions. The latter precipitated by the recent APRA regulatory requirements for the ‘big four’ domestic banks to hold higher levels of equity capital via subsequent capital raisings. Across the broader coverage teams mentioned above, this could be due to the anticipation of stronger M&A activity more broadly. 

Independent corporate advisory boutiques in Australia continue to increase their presence and have gained further traction this quarter, thus providing an additional option for candidates looking to continue a career within investment banking under a more relationship driven environment with smaller deal teams and offering (in some case) a much improved work-life balance.

We would also expect a number of the major bulge bracket investment banks in Q1 of 2017 look to replace those who have (or will post bonus) exit the industry in order to take up in-house corporate M&A /strategy positions, or roles within PE. Preference remains initially on ‘lateral movers’ to back-fill these gaps, however the competitive nature of the Sydney and Melbourne markets requires a more extensive search approach to include those returning from offshore, or that have developed a similar skill set in the broader professional services, corporate or legal field.