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MORGAN McKINLEY LONDON EMPLOYMENT MONITOR June 11

MORGAN McKINLEY LONDON EMPLOYMENT MONITOR June 11

“Monitoring the pulse of the City jobs market”

What exodus? Survey finds 80% of financial services professionals have not had, or have turned down, the opportunity to move abroad for work

Financial Services Moving Abroad Survey Highlights

Morgan McKinley surveyed 560 financial services professionals to investigate how many had sought or been offered the opportunity to move abroad for their careers in the past two years.

The majority of respondents (80%) had either:

Not had the opportunity to move abroad (43%)

Declined an overseas opportunity (9%) or

Were not willing/able to relocate (28%).

The remaining 20% had moved abroad for work in the past two years, with & lsquo;career progression’ being the most popular motivator, followed by & lsquo;lifestyle choice’ and & lsquo;travel opportunities’.

LondonEmployment Monitor Highlights

Financial services job opportunities in London rose 6% month-on-month in June 11. Compared to the same time last year, there was a 2% decrease in job opportunities across the City in June 11.

There was also a slight decrease (2%) in new job opportunities quarter-on-quarter. This is the first year since 2007 that job levels have been lower in Q2 than Q1.

The volume of new professionals entering the financial services jobs market increased by 3% from May 11 to June 11. Compared to the same time last year the number of new job seekers rose by 30%.

The average salary for those securing new roles in June 11 was &pound52,090 – a slight decrease (1%) on the previous month.

Majority of City workers still committed to London

In June 11, Morgan McKinley surveyed 560 financial services professionals in London to examine how many of these professionals had sought or been offered the opportunity to move abroad for their careers. The majority of respondents (80%) had either: not had the opportunity to move abroad (43%) declined an overseas opportunity (9%) or were not willing/able to relocate (28%).

& lsquo;Family/partner’ was the main reason for not making a transition (48%), followed by & lsquo;no overseas opportunities with my company’ (20%), & lsquo;the hassle of relocation’ (12%) and being & lsquo;too far away from home’ (10%). Reasons listed as & lsquo;other’ (10%) included visa and language concerns, preferences to remain in London and property ties in the UK.

The 43% who had not had the opportunity to move abroad stated that they would however be open to the idea. New York (23%) was their preferred destination, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore (both 13%). Dubai and Sydney were close behind, both with 9%.

The remaining 20% of respondents had shifted internationally for work in the past two years (or are in the process of moving). The top three motivators for this group to move abroad were & lsquo;career progression’ (34%), & lsquo;lifestyle choice’ (14%) and & lsquo;travel opportunities’ (14%).

Andrew Evans, Chief Operations Officer, Morgan McKinley Financial Services commented:

“Over the past 18 months there has been much speculation about bankers and other financial professionals leaving London & lsquo;in droves’ to pursue career opportunities in Asia and the Middle East. These reports did not corroborate with what we were hearing from our extensive database of City workers, prompting us to undertake a formal & lsquo;Moving Abroad’ survey in June 11.

“The survey gave a clear indication that the majority of financial services professionals in London are not currently planning to relocate. In fact, only 20% of respondents had relocated overseas for work in the past two years. Opportunities to move abroad are not as abundant as some recent reports might suggest – 43% of respondents had not had the option to relocate. A further 9% had declined an opportunity and the remaining 28% were simply not willing or able to leave the UK. These results show that a large proportion of financial services professionals still view London as the best place to advance their careers.

“It would also seem that changes to taxation and remuneration structures in the UK have not driven away as many professionals as feared, and the City of London has preserved its reputation as a thriving global financial centre. Most financial institutions did not action their threats of relocating their headquarters outside of London, and several firms that did shift offices are now making moves back to the City in favour of its market conditions and competitive rates.

“This is not to suggest that British-based financial services professionals should not look to add international experience to their CVs. As a global recruiter, we encourage and facilitate professionals’ moves across the world. The key message from the findings of this survey, as well as anecdotal evidence from our clients and candidates, is that threats of a talent drain appear to be overblown and there is currently still a strong commitment to London from the financial services sector.”

First Q1 to Q2 dip in financial services job opportunities since 2007

The London Employment Monitor registered a month-on-month increase of 6% in new financial services job opportunities, with levels rising from 5,229 in May 11 to 5,544 in June 11. This was however, a slight decrease (2%) from June 10, which saw 5,670 new jobs recorded.

June 11 also saw the number of professionals commencing their job searches rise by 3% to reach 15,671 from 15,150 in May 11. There was also a significant increase (30%) on the June 10 figure of 12,090 new job seekers.

Andrew Evans continued:

“At the close of Q2 11 there were conflicting opinions about the health of the financial services jobs market. The London Employment Monitor registered a slight quarter-on-quarter decrease in the number of new job opportunities the first year since 2007 that Q2 job volumes were lower than Q1. Global economic factors continued to affect visibility in the market and the recruitment process was protracted in many cases due to delays in hiring approvals. This trend is predicted to continue into July and August as many decision makers enter the traditional holiday season.

“More positively, there were reports of heightened business confidence and hiring activity in pockets of the financial services sector in Q2 11, particularly in areas of finance, asset management, risk/compliance and front office. This was reflected in a 6% lift in new financial services jobs from

May 11 to June 11.

“There was also increased confidence on the job seeker side in June 11, illustrated by a 30% rise in new professionals open to career moves compared to the same time last year. More City workers, many of whom have sat tight since 2008-09, are now willing to & lsquo;dip their toes’ into the jobs market and assess the options available to them. Against the backdrop of an improving economy, the perceived risk of moving jobs is decreasing. Unless we experience a significant market shift, it is expected that job seeker optimism will continue to increase conservatively into Q3 11.”

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