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Selby Jennings’ specialist Wealth Management Team express their views on current market conditions i

Date: 07 February 2013

What would you say is the most noticeable trend in the wealth management recruitment market at present and for the next 12 months, and why?

“Relocation has increasingly become an issue for private bankers and private banks as it is increasingly hard to gain work permits in countries such as Switzerland and in the US. Therefore, deals are breaking down unless they are already in the country or have a permit in place. It is getting very difficult to move a top candidate from one location to another,” the firm said. 

“Product knowledge - It is still very much about how many assets you can bring to an organisation, but recently clients are looking for more and want experienced candidates with specific product knowledge on the investment side. Why? Because clients are becoming more demanding and the private banks need to be equipped for this to keep the clients and provide first class service,” the firm said in an emailed statement.

Which areas of wealth management do you see as offering the biggest opportunities for growth and which areas are the least promising? Again, can you briefly say why?

“There is a big opportunity with Family Offices as they can provide flexibility and an open architecture to private bankers and allow for clients to remain in the banks they are established with, which is resulting in a lot of senior candidates looking to make this move,” it continued.

“Boutique organisations are attractive because candidates feel that they are more valued as an employee and involved in where the business is going. Boutiques allow growth in different markets and do not restrict bankers to market segments as the established private banks do,” Selby Jennings said.

“Least promising area for growth would be the Swiss market. Switzerland will struggle with the new laws coming in that will further restrict private bankers. Growth in Switzerland will be limited due to this and clients will look to leave and create opportunities for other jurisdictions such as Monaco, Singapore and Dubai,” it said. 

How and in what ways would you say the wealth management jobs market has changed the most in recent years?

“The wealth management job market used to be about potential and client facing skills but now there are less jobs and more specific requirements for the leading private banks,” the firm said.

“Most top banks are resorting to speculative hiring as a result of a saturated market and budget issues. Clients are looking for only the best candidates and if you are a private banker with a book of €100-150 million looking to move, you are better off staying where you are until your book is €200 million ($271.3 million) -plus, as most banks will only look at bankers with sizeable books of €200 million-plus,” the firm said.

“It may be an opportunity for boutique banks to capitalise on this and get ahead of their competitors by bringing on some talented private bankers that haven’t breached the €200 million mark yet and that top banks are overlooking. The market has become more specific and focused to particular skills, with product knowledge and deep relationships spanning 10 years or more with each client and specific focus on bankers with UHNW clients becoming increasingly important. This is especially evident with the top tier private banks,” it said.

What regions of the world/your local region would you say are the most/least busy in terms of recruitment?

“The most busy regions would be Miami, New York and Houston in the US who are aggressively hiring in the LATAM markets, Africa and Russia are rising in recruitment and the Middle East and Singapore continue to be active hiring locations,” it said.  “ The least Busy would be Europe in General but in particular Switzerland and London as they are hesitant about the new laws and are only hiring very good candidates,” it added.