City job creation up 52% on last year
Astbury Marsden says that the number of new jobs in the City is now higher than in any month over the last year, and up slightly on the 4,070 roles available in April 2015. The increase in the number of new jobs in May continues a run of five consecutive months of growth in hiring activity.
Astbury Marsden says that one noticeable change is that trading has picked up for banks’ fixed income, commodities and currencies (FICC) desks. These had previously borne the brunt of job cuts over the last two years as their profitability was eroded by tougher new capital adequacy requirements and declining bond market volatility. However, FICC revenues have increased in the last few months due to a return to more volatile conditions in the bond and currency markets - which demands a more active trading strategy by the clients of investment banks.
An expectation of continued strong levels of M&A and IPO activity, is also creating new City jobs. The value of M&A activity globally hit $1.3 trillion in the first four months of the year, its highest level since 2007 as corporates look to take advantage of current low interest rates and cash piles amassed since the financial crisis.
Astbury Marsden explains that acquisitions by UK companies overseas hit their highest levels since Spring 2012. While acquisitions of UK targets have been subdued by uncertainty around the outcome of the General Election, deals previously put on hold are now expected to be progressed. Similarly, IPO activity is expected to revive in the latter half of 2015, with recently announced London IPO plans including cyber security company Sophos, Irish home builder Cairn Homes and three estate agencies.
Adam Jackson, managing director at Astbury Marsden in London comments, “Revenues are growing in certain areas of FICC, and the increased positivity on the trading floor is creating more opportunities for specialists in these areas than we have seen for some time.”
“Meanwhile, M&A teams are also expanding, particularly at more junior levels.”
Astbury Marsden explains that in the current regulatory climate, new front office hires are likely to be accompanied by an increase in compliance and risk staff.
Jackson continues, “Hiring in compliance teams remains strong, though it is now targeted to fill very specific needs rather than the wholesale bulking up that was needed to cope with the complete transformation of the regulatory landscape post financial crisis.”
“We are seeing new compliance hiring to support the new front office roles that are being created, and risk professionals are also in strong demand.”
“On the technology side, demand for Big Data experts is strong. Strengthening cyber security teams remains an important focus, especially as more and more data exchange with customers is conducted via the cloud.”