Reasons for moving have changed

One of the most notable changes visible in the industry today is that the motivation to change employers has shifted to the work itself, and is not so focussed on financial reasons as previously. In fact, quite a large number of people are open to changing employer at the moment, usually because work has slowed down and there have been so many cut backs in firms. People are feeling that money isn’t everything, what they really want is the chance to make something, build, create and innovate. For that you need an opportunity at a business with growth plans, and there aren’t many of those around.

Funds Talent - Salaries

Back in 2007…

It was not surprising to hear candidates asking for a minimum raise in their salary, before they would even talk to the company we were representing. Equally those were the days that companies couldn’t hire staff quickly enough, it was all about speed and numbers, and their interview processes weren’t very good. If the candidates were greedy the employers were feeding that greed by offering salaries way above the market rate, they were desperate. Sometimes they were even offering salaries to joiners that were higher than some of the managers of the teams. The market was way out of line.

With so much of this in recent memory, I am delighted that a degree of normality has returned to the fund management industry and people are moving for the right reasons, reasons that will make them happier in the long-run, and more successful I believe. They are getting better at spotting what makes them happy, often because they know what makes them unhappy.

Offers are less generous, but there are still opportunities around

All of this is just as well, as at the same time employers are struggling to offer high salaries, even to good candidates. Where we used to see candidates moving with an average of 15% or 20% increase on their base salary, it is now tough to make it to 10%, with a growing number of candidates receiving offers of around 5% or even less than their current salary at times. Be prepared for this, you are more likely to be demotivated by a job that is unchallenging, than noticing a bit less in your salary each month. Consider it an investment.

Senior-levels are most badly impacted

The most badly-affected part of the industry is the more senior end, an issue exacerbated by many job cuts affecting experienced, well-paid mid-level managers. Unfortunately there hasn’t been any major uptake at this level as yet. Many companies are opting to go for less-experienced candidates because they have the time to train them and they can grow into the roles. A lot of people I work with at the more senior level simply haven’t looked for a job since before the crisis, and they start their search unaware of the current market conditions.

So if you are considering a move, talk to a good agent and get their view on what is happening. The best thing is to decide what is important to you job-wise and remain flexible if a role comes up where you like the sound of the job, but the salary isn’t quite there, it may pay off in the end.

The perfect role you.

A team of great people – who know a lot about the funds industry, and all the possible careers in it – is waiting for your call.