Financial Services in 2024 – Market Update Jan 24

Simon RoderickMarket updates

Market update - Financial Services - Simon Roderick - Fram Search

Financial Services in 2024 – Market Update Jan 24

January 31, 2024
For many, 2023 is a year to forget. There certainly seems to be more optimism within the financial services industry at the start of 2024. Here is an overview of what we are seeing.
Market update - Financial Services - Simon Roderick - Fram Search

Welcome back! I hope January has gone well for you and your year has started positively. For many, 2023 is a year to forget, with few not caught out by the speed of rising rates and this affected a number of businesses in 2023. According to Morgan McKinley there were c. 40% less vacancies in financial services last year – ouch. We’ve started 2024 strongly, with vacancies up 155%, but sadly I don’t think we will see this continue - but there is far more optimism. The hiring thesis is this: rates are likely to be falling (or will have fallen) by the second half of the year and activity will increase significantly. Working backwards, you need to start hiring now (given the time processes take and notice periods etc). There certainly seems more optimism and a feeling that 2023 was a bit of an outlier and why wouldn’t it be? We stopped and started a global economy and of course it was going to take time for this to work through the system. Increased conflict also seems to be creating uncertainty. There have of course been some redundancies. However, I can’t help but wonder that if this was your preferred strategy to protect margins, then this should have been done in late 22/early 23. Any uptick in activity could see some firms short staffed – again.

I am happy to share in more detail what trends we’re seeing if you want to contact me at [email protected] However, here’s a brief overview of some of the fields we know well. Wealth management is strong for us, it was our first practice and will always been important to us. However, the demand is for financial advisers and not for investment managers. Support and infrastructure roles in wealth management are also busy, namely compliance, paraplanners, and administrators. We’ve seen a consistent upturn in sales roles in asset management since circa October, and this continues. Debt advisory and credit focused strategies are busy, which is creating demand for those with credit related experience. Asset finance and specialist lending is moving along fine and VC is really coming back to life now. We’ve seen a real improvement in the number of VC investment manager and investment director roles, and again this is mostly driven by rate expectations. Working from home will stay, but few firms will allow colleagues more than two days a week at home. There are also an increasing number of firms in the office full time. Face to face meetings are very much back in vogue, and I’m delighted with this, given I find “digital life” a bit isolating. It won’t be a year without challenges, but I hope that the worst is behind the City and financial services.

I was delighted to take part in this article on recruitment “icks” in People Management. Most first interviews now are an informal conversation on Teams, but candidates need to treat each meeting seriously whether virtual or in person. 2024 could actually be a good time to join a new firm, a chance to get in at the beginning for firms’ next growth phase. What I’d urge everyone to do is to endeavour to future proof themselves by taking advantage of every bit of training available, and that your mindset is that you are open to change. The level of innovation, experimentation, and change in working and buying patterns is happening at breakneck speed, and so those who are open to change will thrive. Before the deconsolidation phase, there is certainly going to be more consolidation of the financial services industry, and so being current maybe a good hedge against this.

Let’s hope that 2024 is a much better year, and a year where people rediscover that we have more in common than divides us.

About Fram Search

Established in 2010, Fram Search is a specialist financial services recruitment consultancy. We focus on mid-to-senior hires in the UK and internationally.

We provide high quality contingent and retained recruitment services to boutiques and global brands. We have long established relationships, outstanding market knowledge, and access to deep talent pools. Fram takes a highly consultative approach, combining outstanding tech with a human approach. We are proud that our contingent fill rate is nearly three times the industry average and we augment our retained search methodology with rigorous psychometric testing. We take ESG seriously, we are champions of diversity and all staff have undertaken unconscious bias training. We also carbon offset.

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