Recruitment in banking, specifically risk professionals increased significantly in the first half of this year. Continued growth in the Irish economy and renewed investment in risk management teams led to a rise in job vacancies.
Key hiring areas
There has been a high demand for quantitative risk professionals across counterparty and market risk analytics. In the banking sector, companies have hired more VPs and senior managers compared to 2016 as the regulator put a larger emphasis on more robust domestic risk functions. A number of businesses have recruited externally for strong quantitative candidates who have the ability to build risk/pricing derivative models, model validation and regulatory documentation, combined with the ability to code (C++, C#, Python and R) to supplement the existing skills gaps within their departments.
Within market risk, there has been demand for regulatory and portfolio risk candidates in both banking and investment management. The buy-side has outpaced the banking sector in relative terms to add qualified risk candidates who combine the regulatory understanding in funds (UCITS & AIFMD) with quantitative skills (VaR, mVaR, etc.). A large contribution to this hiring has been an increase in capital flows to investment firms as Europe continues to perform well with hedge fund managers and a willingness from firms to build out deep risk management teams to be prepared for the rollout of MiFID II.
Overall, financial institutions have increased their focus on ‘first line of defence’ recruitment within operational risk management largely driven by the need to ensure strong business unit conformance and control procedures. Similarly, risk measurement and frameworks have also increased recruitment needs as businesses become more accountable for their employees. Demand has increased for professionals with regulatory risk skill sets, particularly in capital, liquidity and treasury functions at the enterprise level. Enterprise risk professionals continue to be an acuate shortage on the market as Irish firms struggle to find the ideal mix of regulatory experience with strong stakeholder management.
Despite shortages of professionals across risk management, employers have remained cautious with salary increases remaining around 10-15%. With an exception being quantitative risk and risk analytics, businesses have looked to promote internally and upskill employees where possible. The mid to senior level in risk management (senior analyst to manager) continues to be the most buoyant market with sustained candidate activity. The Irish market has also experienced an increase in temporary risk recruitment as firms bolster their teams to manage an ever expanding regulatory agenda and hedge for shortages in critical areas due to candidate movement.
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