For jobseekers, there’s room for optimism

jobseekers, optimism, Chris Hanley, Morgan McKinley, Irish funds industry, London, Irish, funds, industry

Chris Hanley of Morgan McKinley highlights current recruitment trends in the Irish funds industry, such as fewer opportunities to work from home and the creation of roles that used to be carried out in London.

There has been a more cautious approach to recruitment at fund managers, management companies (‘ManCos’) and fund administrators in Dublin since the start of 2023. A correction in the jobs market means there has been a decrease in opportunities across the board as a result. Yet there is still job creation, including fresh demand in areas like client relations, which prompts us to be optimistic. 

The Irish funds industry saw unprecedented growth in 2021/2022 from a post-Covid hiring resurgence and new regulations coming into effect, such as CP86, as well as a continuation in post-Brexit hiring in Dublin. However, due to the current market situation – such as the tech crisis, inflation, and the Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse fallout – companies are now acting more cautiously in terms of taking on new business and hiring.

Many fund administrators have put reduced hiring in place and have been very cautious, waiting to see how things play out. Many asset managers have advised there is a hold on budget for growth and only feel they will hire in 2023 due to attrition of staff. There is some concern about how the UBS takeover of Credit Suisse may affect the whole market, further increasing the level of caution.

Due to current market conditions, candidates no longer have as many options as they previously had, and the trend of being in multiple interview processes – allowing them to be very selective with their offers – has declined. 

There has been a reduction in offers with huge salary increases, so candidates aren’t in the privileged position of being selective or ambitious in seeking such high salaries and have to be realistic in line with the current market. However, having fewer opportunities on the market has been welcomed by many hiring managers, who have noted periods of lower turnover and greater retention of staff.

Back to the office

There has been a shift away from full remote working and hybrid, with many asset managers and fund administrators getting closer to a pre-Covid office working model, encouraging staff to be in the office at least two or three days a week to increase collaboration and culture. 

Candidates no longer have the luxury of being as selective in seeking roles that are fully remote. Up until this year, there had been a huge demand for fully remote working, or as close as possible to this. Many asset managers and funds companies are now reluctant to hire people for Dublin roles who are based in the regional areas as there is no longer a guarantee that remote working will be as commonplace going forward.

Key roles and skills in demand

It is worth noting that it’s not all doom and gloom. Many asset managers and fund administrators are hiring, and there is still a high demand for regulatory professionals post-CP86 – with risk, compliance and anti-money laundering professionals being in high demand, along with senior ‘PCF’ positions. These are roles that require pre-approval under fitness and probity regulations set by the Central Bank of Ireland.

There have been some interesting new boutique fund administrators growing and expanding in Ireland, leading to an increase in senior director positions such as head of fund accounting, head of transfer agency, depositary, custody etc., as well as managing directors.

There has also been an increase in client services, relationship management and sales/business development roles which have come over from previous front-office/sales hubs such as London, offering very exciting exposure to work with investment managers. These opportunities previously were not on offer in Dublin, and there is a shortage of sales professionals in funds for this reason, leading to opportunities for Irish professionals to return to Dublin from London. 

There is a continuation of front-office and middle-office opportunities in the investment banking space, with some very interesting portfolio manager opportunities coming to the market with new investment banks which have grown their presence in Dublin recently. These opportunities historically were London-based, so this has really opened up the market in Dublin to funds and asset management candidates. 

There has also been an increase in demand for private equity, real estate, venture capital and ESG in the investment management space, as well as an increase in family office investment managers in Dublin, leading to more exciting investment roles.

Further growth

While it’s safe to say there has been a market correction so far this year compared to 2021 and 2022, due to the strength of the funds and asset management market in Dublin, and rapid growth over the last number of years, we expect to see a continuation of opportunities for candidates in this space and further growth for 2023 – there is plenty of room for optimism!

Chris Hanley is a manager at recruitment consultants Morgan McKinley.

© 2023 funds europe 

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