Tag: Financial Services

Asia is leading the way in gender diversity

In recent months, hiring in the financial services industry has hit record numbers globally, with eight major hubs showing increases of 64% in advertised roles. This makes the financial services sector one of the fastest hiring industries post-pandemic, only surpassed by the technology sector.

These findings were revealed in a new report from recruitment consultancy Robert Walters. The report, ‘Hiring Trends in the World’s Leading Financial Services Cities’  looks at the labour market across London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Paris, Singapore, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong.

London continues to power ahead as home to the most financial services professionals working in any one city (293,700). However, the AsiaPac region has increased in the last 12 months, with Singapore (250,000), Sydney (167,364), and Tokyo (166,000+) being the most notable cities with high levels of financial services talent.

Job Growth in the Past Year by City

  • London: +101%
  • New York: +78%
  • Tokyo: +77%
  • Singapore: +76%

Job Growth by Region

  • Europe: +62%
  • North America: +60%
  • AsiaPac: +61%

In terms of the greatest numbers of advertised job roles, New York (48,595), London (38,945), and Paris (24,165) are in the lead.

AsiaPac, however, shows the best hiring conditions. Professionals in Sydney (81%), Singapore (76%), Hong Kong (67%), and Tokyo (60%) expressed a high willingness to move roles even with this very tight candidate market.

Asia is also leading the way with gender diversity in the financial services sector. For example, Singapore (46%) has almost 50/50 gender diversity; meanwhile, in Hong Kong, women make up 44% of the banking workforce.

New York (36%) and London (36%) lag with gender diversity. However, they have made strides in cultural, racial, and socio-economic diversity. Many firms in these areas have advanced recruitment programmes to ensure their workforce represents the diversity of the city in which they are based.

Senior hires typically represent around 8-10% of all new hires. Most of the hiring is at junior and mid-management levels. However, the figures for senior hires rose dramatically over the last 12-18 months, with 1 in 3 new hires in banking has been at a senior level in some cities.

  • London: 20% of new hires are for senior roles, an increase of 5%
  • New York: Team/Department Heads were the only area to experience growth in the pandemic (+26%)
  • Tokyo: 19% of new hires are at a senior level
  • Sydney: 28% of new hires are for senior positions, an increase of 5%
  • Paris: 63% growth at Manager-level and above
  • Singapore: 31% of new hires are for a senior role

Toby Fowlston, CEO at Robert Walters comments: “The global financial services system is as solid as it was before the pandemic – and much healthier than after the last crisis in 2008 (GFC).

“Whilst the pandemic did not have the expected harmful financial effects on the global banking industry, it has certainly accelerated change in a multitude of other areas. Digital banking boomed whilst cash use fell, savings expanded and credit card debts were paid-off in record time, remote became a way of working, data-capture and usage is a central business function, and environment and sustainability are now front of mind for customers and regulators.”

“All of this change has led to exponential hiring in the sector – with each hub trying to fight for the same talent at the same time, the results being a fiercely competitive recruitment market like we’ve never seen before, with execs being offered over +30-40% pay increases with the option to work from anywhere in the world.”

“As a whole the global financial services sector has made solid strides in gender diversity – with near half of the entry-level workforce in financial services being women.”

“The task now is to equal representation at the top, where in banking less than a quarter of high-level senior positions are held by women. We are seeing some worthy gains been made in this area, and I think the increasing diversity in senior positions will only help to speed up the rapid rate of innovation and change within the sector.”

“Employers will continue to experience challenges in attracting junior analysts and associates as the traditional appeal of working for a large Financial Services organisation now finds itself in a battle with the lure of a career in a start-up or major tech firm.”

“Reputational issues suffered since the GFC and workplace-related perceptions – around hours, flexibility, and culture – will all need to be addressed head on by financial services firms if they want to build out their future talent pipeline.”

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31% of financial services and banking professionals to leave the industry due to pressure

One third (31%) of financial services and banking professionals plan to leave their industry, and a further third (31%) are planning to stay within the industry but leave their current roles, reveals a new report.

According to the study by the digital accountancy platform, LemonEdge,  33% of financial service and banking professionals believe that working from home and hybrid working has increased burnout. Fourteen percent state that burnout has risen exponentially. The study also revealed that 23% of these professionals are worried about physical and mental health.

When asked why workers are planning to leave their positions, the following reasons were cited:

  • Heavy workload (42%)
  • Manual processes (36%)
  • Long working hours (32%)
  • Tight deadlines (26%)
  • Increasing demands from management (25%)

One in six of the financial services workers who were surveyed feel like they can no longer continue or no longer desire to continue in their role within the industry.

When asked what would help overcome burnout, 33% of financial services professionals agreed that a reduced workload would reduce burnout. Time off work (27%), support from management (25%), and faster, more efficient technology (23%) were also popular solutions.

Gareth Hewitt, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at LemonEdge, comments: “An exodus of industry professionals is a sure sign that levels of burnout have reached an unacceptable scale. Any experience of  burnout is serious and with thousands of employees planning to leave the industry as a direct result of high pressure, it should be a clear warning to firms before they risk losing valuable talent.

“The risk of burnout to employers is huge, and there are simple measures firms can introduce to reduce the risk of burnout, making the lives of their employees’ much simpler, easier, and with less stress. Firms need to be aware of the impact absenteeism and presenteeism will have on both their employees and business productivity. Just because you’re working from home, or in a hybrid model, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time off. With one in four (23%) asking for faster or improved technology to eliminate manual processes, firms need to look at their approaches to improve the lives of their staff. In this day and age, technology, not only can but should, provide the automation and flexibility that can contribute to reduced stress, reduced working hours, and lower risk of burnout. At LemonEdge we are passionate about providing the tools and technology that enable financial services professionals to get home on time.”

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Study finds that young investment professionals have highest levels of trust

According to the CFA Institute’s 2022 Enhancing Investors’ Trust Study, levels of trust in the financial services industry have reached an all-time high in 2022. The study measures trust levels in financial services among retail and institutional investors in 15 markets, as well as the factors that drive trust.

Some of the findings included:

  • Levels of trust increased from 65% to 86% across all generations of institutional investors in 2022.
  • Millennials, especially 25-34-year-olds, have the highest trust (72%) in financial services.
  • Technology plays an important role in enhancing trust by allowing advisers and managers to offer transparency, simplify access to markets and products, and align product offerings with clients’ needs.
  • Over 70% of millennials prefer technology platforms and tools over human help with their investments strategy.
  • Only 30% of respondents over the age of 65 prefer technology platforms.
  • 58% of retail investors with advisers are keen to try new investment products compared to 37% of investors without an adviser.
  • 56% of retail investors believe that access to technology platforms and tools to execute their investment strategies will be more important than access to human assistance in the next three years.
  • 92% of retail investors aged 25-34 trust digital nudges or push notifications from providers about new investment opportunities.
  • 80% of respondents trust the completeness and accuracy of information from retail apps.
  • 75% stated that retail tools and apps increased the frequency of trading.

Rebecca Fender, CFA, Head of Strategy & Governance for Research, Advocacy and Standards at CFA Institute, and lead author of the Trust Study, commented: “The highs we’re now seeing in investor trust are certainly cause for optimism, but the challenge is sustaining trust even during periods of volatility. Our ongoing examination of the dynamics required to build and maintain investor trust reveals what investors need from their advisors and managers through the highs and lows of market cycles. Technology, the alignment of values, and personal connections are all coming through as key determinants in a resilient trust dynamic.”

“The under-44s, and particularly millennials, are leading the way in their use of technology and in their desire for personalized products. This investor cohort has relatively high trust in robo-advice, digital apps, and digital nudges such as alerts about new investment opportunities, and they are using online platforms to execute their investment strategies. They are also eager to use investment products that allow them to invest in line with their personal values, including sustainability and ESG preferences. Climate change and clean energy are the top ESG priorities for retail investors, while institutions are focusing on data protection and privacy, and sustainable supply chain management.”

With the first generation of digital natives now a part of the financial services market, it seems that technology is fast becoming the default way to execute investment strategies.

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Despite global political concerns, financial services are in a significant growth period

Morgan McKinley’s latest recruitment monitor for Q1 2022 shows that recruitment numbers in the financial services industry are rising following pandemic lows and global political and economic concerns. 

According to the report, there were 11 008 jobs available in the first quarter of 2022, over 73% more than the same period in 2021. There was also an increase of 35% quarter-on-quarter from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022.

The continued increase in available jobs clearly shows that business intends to grow, even with global instability.

Another key finding was that 51% more people actively sought new job opportunities in Q1 2022. There was also an average salary change of 22% when changing jobs. This number is significant, indicating a shortage of candidates in the city’s financial services market.

The data shows that businesses are bidding with higher salaries to attract the best talent, as the numbers of job seekers have not proportionally increased in line with the volume of new jobs available. Companies are also taking steps to retain existing staff, often by offering larger bonus payouts.

Hakan Enver, Managing Director at Morgan McKinley, commented:  “Once again, the city’s recruitment has shown stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. The first three months of this year saw companies hiring in their droves and professionals with renewed confidence to move. It’s safe to say that firms have been desperate to hire.”

“This growth is even more momentous when considering the various global issues that have come to the fore. The start of 2022 has been a tale of two opposites for London. On one hand, the Omicron variant, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and its subsequent energy crisis, 30 year high inflation and rising interest rates have been the talk of the tabloids.”

Despite all the year-on-year increases, the month-on-month growth for 2022 is significantly slower – with a 2% increase comparing March to February and 12% when comparing February against January. The escalating global issues may still impact the London bubble and recruitment numbers for the remainder of the year.

Enver went on to add, “Despite not many knock-on effects being seen in London’s Financial Services hiring thus far, the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the global economical fallout could yet play a huge role in our market. Further escalations and sanctions would see more companies removing themselves from interactions with Russia, and who knows what might happen here as a result. It will be interesting to see what the figures of jobs and job seekers over the next three months pan out to be.”

 

 

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Financial services industry struggling to recruit

According to a whitepaper by global workforce solutions provider AMS, a solid commitment to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) will aid financial services firms in securing sought-after talent amid skills shortages.

In its latest whitepaper, Why the ‘S’ of ESG may be the rose between two thorns for retail banking, its recommended that employers across the banking and insurance sectors strengthen and promote their social credentials if they are to harness the power of ESG to build their employer brand.

We know that Gen Zs are allocating more importance to social responsibility and want to work at companies that align with their values. It’s therefore becoming increasingly important for businesses put their money where their mouth is and ensure that ESG forms the foundation of the way they do business.

The advice comes following research from the Financial Services Skills Commission, which found that almost a third of employers across the financial, professional and business services sector are struggling to recruit due to widespread skills shortages.

Janine Chidlow Sector Managing Director of Retail Banking & Insurance at AMS commented: “At a time when acute skills shortages are impacting access to talent, both jobseekers and existing employees increasingly want to find a purpose in life and are seeking out employers that share their values. That might be a commitment to sustainability, philanthropy, or social impact. Against this backdrop, the ESG framework unsurprisingly has an impact on talent attraction and retention within financial services.

“Candidates may not be seeking an ethical employer in the traditional sense any more – now they’re looking at the social perception of an employer brand and what they are committed to in terms of achieving carbon neutral status or supporting social mobility and diversity. The war for talent is now raging once again, and those businesses that are not demonstrating flexibility, care, innovative thinking, and evidence that people matter will lose very quickly. For talent strategists, a commitment to ESG is not just a vote winner for hiring great people: it’s a brilliant tool in your sales armoury too.”

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