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Alice Corp of Selby Jennings discusses a new hiring situation in Switzerland

Written by: Alice Corp
Date: 18 June 2015

One location which has remained relatively healthy in their hiring has been Germany, especially for the alternative investment managers. The number of Sales vacancies here far outweighs the amount seen in Switzerland, with the depreciation of the Swiss Franc having the opposite effect here, leading to a boom in new vacancies, office openings and increased headcount. According to the latest data presented by German Investment Fund Association BVI, the German fund industry saw record inflows of 27.5bn throughout January, and firms have really capitalised on € this boom time in their hiring plans.

Specifically, these vacancies have been at the more senior level, with a large number of start-up Investment Managers being keen to hire experienced professionals to fuel growth into the
German markets. With this, candidates will need to bring a strong understanding of the German institutional markets and client base, proven track record in Sales and business
development and understanding of the products. If one is looking for the next entrepreneurial challenge, candidates need to take into consideration that many firms will look to have this person based in a home or remote office. Therefore, it is also essential to be willing to work in an autonomous environment, away from the head office, which may be elsewhere in Europe. Of course, it goes without saying that speaking German is a definite requirement.

FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDERS

Outside of positions within Investment Management, an area which is continuing to grow with a steady stream of vacancies, are the Financial Service Providers. Aside from Thomson Reuters, who have made a number of cuts in their regional offices, other smaller providers have been quick to benefit from this exceptional talent pool, and following this success in recruiting from their competitors, are now looking for talent from elsewhere. We have noted a high volume of hiring across all seniorities, with Senior Sales Managers and Junior Account Managers making up the majority of vacancies.
Traditionally, working for a Data or Software Provider has been seen as less glamorous than working in Asset Management, but over the last couple of years there has been a salary revolution in this space, with on target earnings matching if not surpassing those in Asset Managers for Sales and Client Services professionals. If one hopes to secure a position in this industry, a candidate will need to highlight fluency in a number of languages, solid revenue in selling a similar product (whether it be data feeds, workflow solutions, analytical tools etc.) to Financial Institutions and the drive to exceed personal targets. For Account Managers, language skills are an absolute must, but one will need to show their long term goals will be in Sales, but are willing to work on farming business for the foreseeable future in order to get to know the products.

GENDER DIVERSITY

The next two years will see a number of countries brining in laws, which will force companies to put measures in place to “ensure that 30% of the supervisory board positions are held by women” (BBC, 2014). Germany has already kick started this with their mandate beginning in 2016. Other countries have also followed suit including Norway (mandating 40% women), France (40%) and the Netherlands. Switzerland will also be releasing details of a new commission later in 2015 (Forbes, 2015). "This law is an important step for equality because it will initiate cultural change in the workplace," Chancellor Angela Merkel, told parliament. Organisations that do not yet have internal quotas will have to leave vacancies available for new female Directors.
This lack of female leadership is not thought to be because of a lack of female talent. “More than 80% of German boardroom positions are occupied by men”, reported Deutsche Welle, yet "there are enough women who are qualified to do these very important jobs," said Chancellor Angela Merkel (BBC, 2014).
Several large employers are currently mandating us to focus on finding women for senior positions ahead of these impending quotas. As such, women are now in high demand and the race is set to secure the best talent within your industry.

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