In 2023, the Financial Services sector experienced a moderate year for hiring, marked by heightened cost pressures at major firms. Despite this, select areas showed movement, albeit with extended decision-making timelines compared to the previous year.
Prominent Financial Institutions, including international banks, underwent comprehensive reviews of headcount and costs, aligning with business growth. Many implemented structural adjustments to better synchronise management structures with overarching business objectives.
The ongoing separation between Financial Risk (primarily Market and Credit) and Non-Financial Risk (typically encompassing Operational Risk, Operational Resiliency, Compliance, and Financial Crime) continued, with both Buy and Sell side firms adapting to this framework.
Increased regulatory scrutiny, notably through initiatives like DORA, emphasised Operational Resilience and Third-Party Risk, impacting mid-size firms. Consequently, many approved additional headcount to fortify dedicated resources, either within specialist teams or under Operational Risk.
Throughout 2023, larger firms absorbed staff turnover without always replacing roles or doing so at the same level. In contrast, smaller and medium-sized firms, often lacking succession planning, demonstrated a propensity to expedite external hiring.
FinTechs, Digital Asset Firms, and Challenger Banks sustained growth in 2023, recruiting across all levels to strengthen risk infrastructure. Despite stringent control of infrastructure costs, these firms displayed a willingness to invest in top-tier risk talent and the development of robust governance frameworks and controls.
The prioritisation of Diversity in shortlists remained a focal point for many firms, especially in light of the PRA and FCA consultation on DEI regulatory reporting. Collaboratively, we engaged with numerous clients to underscore the diversity within distinct talent pools, augmenting our efforts with enhanced data analysis of hiring practices.
Initial signs are that 2024 will be a more active recruitment market. While a number of factors that influenced the market in 2023 remain, and where they have a strong business case, many hiring managers expect to receive headcount that didn’t materialise in 2023. Additionally, as the market picks up, we expect to see staff turnover rates start to increase, fuelling its own hiring demand.
In this evolving landscape, strategic hiring is key. For your hiring needs reach out to Mark Moorby, an experienced recruiter specialising in risk, analytics, and compliance talent. Mark’s expertise ensures tailored solutions for financial institutions, FinTechs, and challenger banks. Contact Mark today to build your team with the right talent for navigating the complexities of the risk and analytics domain.
Managing Director, Danos Group
Head of Risk, EMEA