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Market Intel.



After recording our biggest ever quarter, the EMEA compliance market shows no signs of slowing down.  We have seen significant increases in demand for top compliance talent across Europe and this quarter we have worked on retained search mandates in Dublin, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Geneva, Jersey, The Netherlands and Madrid.  The London market remains buoyant with most of the major financial services firms recruiting and we’ve seen a number of firms making significant changes to their senior compliance management teams.   With the MiFID II and GDPR deadlines now past, firms are beginning to look to the next big piece of legislation SMCR and how that is going to affect their businesses.


We continue to see requirements in model validation with increasing competition for the stronger candidates (experience of pricing and risk models, multiple asset classes and strong stakeholder engagement skills). There are increasing requirements in credit risk across investment banking, corporate and retail and the growth of offshored risk teams continues to rise, especially in European centres (Frankfurt, Dublin, Brussels and also Geneva/Zurich). There is often a preference to fill these roles with London based candidates open to relocating.


We have continued to see a fairly strong market in buy and sell side institutions in London, defying Brexit (in many cases to staff their Brexit projects) to yield further growth.  The market for lawyers in  FinTech, Hedge Funds and boutiques also continues to develop.

A significant trend this quarter has been toward greater resolve (and now expenditure) on the part of financials to prepare for Brexit.  Growth in Luxembourg, Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris has become a massive strain on existing teams, whose staff members are being used to seed new teams across the jurisdiction and salaries for replacement hiring barely differ from London rates.  A surprise in what were previously mooted as relatively low cost jurisdictions.

The Americas

The second quarter of 2018 has seen a continued surge of hiring activity across the US, albeit across broader fields than the traditional institutional hotspots.  With many bulge bracket firms building out their consumer businesses and pushing further into that space, there is a continued need for consumer compliance expertise both in New York and more broadly across the US.  The buy-side has also seen increased need for compliance support with growth in that space and high levels of movement so far this year.  The FinTech phenomenon continues to provide interesting opportunities for compliance personnel from more ‘traditional’ settings, with much need for talent mostly on the West Coast, but also across the country.

Asia Pacific

Within Compliance the larger international banks are largely focused on replacement hires, which can offer the chance to upgrade positions and reshape teams. Buy Side firms and Regional Banks are looking to continue increasing their headcount across Compliance and Financial Crime in response to continued tightening of Regional Regulations. The alternative fund space has seen new, often more senior, headcount and fairly high turnover as the candidate pool is shallow, whilst more traditional fund managers  are strengthening their China focused teams and those covering investment monitoring and financial crime.

Within the Risk space in Hong Kong and Singapore there is continued replacement hiring in Credit Risk and a shortage of candidates with strong Quant skills. Operational Risk is once again an active area of hiring with many of the positions looking for candidates with a strong line of business knowledge rather than higher level controls oversight.