An interview with Brendan Simeson and Francis Carter

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Brendan Simeson, Senior Consultant at Robert Walters Ireland, sat down with Francis Carter, President of the CFA Society of Ireland, to discuss hiring activity within banking in the wake of Brexit and its effect on the Irish market. 

Q. What have been the most active hiring areas?

A. Without a doubt, the most active areas of hiring have been in risk, compliance and governance. We saw a dramatic increase in regulatory driven hiring over the last 12 to 18 months where firms have added staff in areas that are being more heavily supervised by the domestic and European regulators.

Q. Has hiring increased since Britain voted to leave the EU?

A. Financial services firms in Ireland actively recruited throughout all of 2016, however, we did notice a slight increase since June in specific disciplines and sectors. For instance, investment managers continued to expand their wealth management businesses and grow assets under management in Ireland while wholesale banks with existing infrastructure and a presence in Ireland increased their headcount in risk and research. Firms also approached the market with new vacancies and were open to the option of hiring candidates in either London or Dublin. Insurance firms also became more active in the second half of the year, particularly those with cross border businesses where the uncertainty of EEA passporting laws has become an area of concern.

Q. Have you noticed any changes in hiring trends over the last couple of years?

A. As the race for talent continues to heat up, we've noticed more offers include perks and benefits. This was particularly noticeable with overseas candidates relocating or Irish ex-pats moving home where a relocation allowance was included in the offer. Companies are increasingly looking outside of Ireland to hire in specialised areas and attracting the best talent has come at a slightly higher cost. In addition, more offers are including flexibility where candidates are being given more personal time such as working from home and flexible working hours now becoming more prevalent in financial services.

Q. What about from the candidate side – did candidates have different considerations when switching jobs?

A. Salaries did increase across the board in 2016, with larger increases in specialized areas. Candidates shared some of the same themes from client trends such as increased flexibility in work-life balance, however, salary and career opportunity were the most important considerations for candidates. Candidates were particularly interested in career advancement opportunities where a clear path to increased responsibility and exposure to senior management was paramount. Job title also became an important consideration for candidates when contemplating a career move.

Q. Do you think Dublin can grow its front office presence in the wake of Brexit?

A. We believe that Dublin stands to benefit from Brexit, however, its success depends on how effectively all stakeholders can work together in order to see its full potential. For instance, the regulator must be in a position to forge a working relationship with both branches and Irish entities of multinational firms. The front office space has been largely underrepresented in Dublin in comparison to other areas of financial services. Investment firms and trading houses are well positioned to grow their businesses with an exceptional talent pool of qualified candidates

Contact Us

For a conversation about the market or to discuss any of your recruitment needs, please contact Brendan Simeson on 01 673 0837 or email

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