Hottest financial jobs of 2011

Australian financial services jobs expected to be most in demand this year include risk management and compliance professionals; mergers and acquisitions (M&A) bankers in the resources sector; and fund managers, according to leading financial services career website, eFinancialCareers.

Other areas expected to see strong demand in 2011 include leveraged finance analysts; product control personnel; equity research analysts; and finance technology professionals.

eFinancialCareers Head of Asia Pacific George McFerran explained that “Demand for these positions is underpinned by many factors, including macro economic trends, leading to strong demand for resources bankers; regulatory pressures, creating demand for risk managers; and increases in trading volumes, resulting in more professionals needed in product control,”

The level of staff movement is expected to increase in the first quarter of 2011, post bonuses, as people who were reluctant to move during the financial crisis look for new career opportunities. Employers will have a wider choice of talent compared with 12 months ago, but could suffer from skill shortages and therefore look to hire candidates from related sectors or from overseas if necessary.

Hottest financial jobs

Risk management and compliance: These jobs have been at the top of the charts since the global financial crisis reinforced the importance of good governance. Regulatory changes are increasing the workloads of risk management and compliance teams, and banks will be hiring in 2011 to help them cope. However the talent the pool is small, so banks may need to take talent from professional services firms and from overseas. When banks do poach from each other compensation is likely to rise.

See also Enterprise Risk Management, Get Started in Six Steps

M&A bankers in the resources sector: Australia’s resources boom will continue to spill over into financial recruitment, with M&A bankers in this sector among the key beneficiaries. Demand for their skills will be strong, from analysts right through to MD level. The large investment banks will be keen to take senior talent from the resources groups of competitors. For more junior jobs, they will also hire investment bankers from other industries, or recruit candidates with corporate finance experience at the big four Australian banks.

See also Change Management 101

Fund managers: Experienced fund managers with the ability to immediately generate revenue will be in high demand this year. Those with multi-asset experience, who survived the GFC with their passion for the industry intact, will be particularly sought after. There is no shortage of local talent in Australia, but firms may need to consider sign-on bonuses and generous salary increases to encourage them to move. Alternatively, companies could recruit offshore professionals without current domestic experience.

Leveraged finance analysts: Momentum is starting to build in the debt markets after a tough couple of years, and demand for analysts in leveraged finance is expected to rise. Leveraged finance divisions that retained their seniortalent during the downturn will be hiring analysts to support the business as transactions increases in 2011.Competition among candidates will be fierce. Only those with at least two years’ experience at an investment bank, or as a leveraged finance analyst at one of the big four banks, who also have excellent academic credentials, will get a look in. Product control: Firms will continue to seek product controllers this year, but they will remain a scarce commodity in the Australian job market. Demand for their skills will largely be driven by rising trading volumes, and increased spending on projects to enhance markets systems. Experienced candidates will almost be able to pick where they want to work. Product control talent moving from offshore will be highly sought after – such as those relocating or returning from the UK, but Asia will also be an important source of talent.

Equity research: Equity analysts will be popular this year as new firms pick up people from current players, and leave gaps in the companies they poach from. Established firms will also be upgrading in some sectors, such as resources, insurance, banks and consumer. Once the typical avenue of approaching analysts from competitors is exhausted, candidates will be sourced from industry, the big four accounting firms, fund managers and potentially offshore - particularly Australians returning home.

Finance technology: Banking sector integration and core banking modernisation drove demand for techies in 2010, and most financial institutions in Australia are gearing up for substantial IT projects this year. Banks will need functional business analysts with strong financial backgrounds. A shortage of developers, in particular Java and C# professionals, is also expected. To help fill these roles, and if the right skills are not available onshore, firms will target Australians based in the UK and Asia.