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Sovereign debt and double-dip fears

Sovereign debt and double-dip fears put a dent in City recruitment vacancies fall 18%
Corporate finance and even some compliance work weaker
Worries over the double-dip has led to an 18% drop in City job vacancies reveals research by Astbury Marsden, a leading financial services recruitment firm.
According to Astbury Marsden the number of new City job vacancies created in June was 5,100 down from Mays 6,238.
Astbury Marsden says that the fall over the last month is the first significant hit after a nine month boom in the City jobs market.
Mark Cameron, Chief Operating Officer at Astbury Marsden, says: Worries over the European banking sector have taken the froth off the jobs market.
There is still an awful lot of hiring going on, it is just that the pace has changed down one gear, which will keep wages from overheating. That is good news for the industry as it is a lot more sustainable.
Nearly all the banks are now being pretty prudent. They are only hiring on their immediate pipeline of work rather than the work they hope to get.
Astbury Marsden points out that new City job vacancies created this June are still 26% more than the 4,057 in June last year.
Mark Cameron explains that much of the demand at the moment is being created by an increase in churn of staff. For example, Astbury Marsden has recently been instructed by an institution which has hired 74 staff over the last quarter and seen 70 leave within the same period.
Explains Mark Cameron: Turnover of staff have always been higher in the City and Docklands than in the rest of the UK. Whilst City staff sat tight during the recession that period is seen as over.
Mark Cameron says that only a small portion of the dip in new hires can be attributed to the seasonality of the market.
With the recovery in M&A and fundraising taking a breather requirements for corporate finance bankers have eased. Whilst a lot of banks have expanded their M&A teams the completion of deals has not come through at the expected level.
Says Mark Cameron: Investment banks are telling us that although the pipeline of M&A deals looks healthy the delay in converting those deals into success fees has caused departments to moderate their requirements for new M&A bankers and more junior analysts.
Astbury Marsden says that the mainstay of the City recruitment market of the last two years compliance and risk has also lost a little steam in the last few weeks.
Mark Cameron explains that although there are still a record number of requirements for operational risk experts related to regulatory issues and internal audit there has been a slowdown in requirements for know your customer type work.
Adds Mark Cameron: Know your customer work has been a real consumer of man hours for financial services institutions. Although regulators like the UKs FSA have been incredibly aggressive in issuing fines in this area, it looks like employment in this particular niche has peaked for now.
Astbury Marsden says that one area of increased demand amongst banks is in prime brokerage roles (includes lending to hedge funds and the provision of back office and other services).


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