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Risk Update for 2020 and what to look for in 2021

9-11-20

Risk Update for 2020 and what to look for in 2021

Even with a pandemic, the change in working circumstances and vast political changes, 2020 has surprisingly, been an exceptionally good year. We entered 2020 with high hopes, Brexit was agreed, and we had concluded the general election. Stability and growth were frequently mentioned when speaking with the market. However, with the changes and adaptations firms were having to make due to the pandemic, we too had to change our methods and approach to assisting our clients.  Not only have we seen the streamlining of many of the large financial institutions, but we have also assisted our clients with a range of newly created positions spanning seniority levels.

With the massive change’s firms have endured, we have seen a number of team’s restructure but also continue to build and develop their product offering. Even with the pandemic, Risk Recruitment in London has continued to be a busy area. Investment Risk Recruitment has seen the most significant increase this year with EJC taking on 17 new Investment risk mandates at various levels of seniority.

From a client’s perspective, this is the perfect environment to hire risk talent, clients have a huge amount of power when it comes to who they want to hire as there are far more candidates on the market. It is the opportune time to add to your team as the leading Hedge Funds and Asset Managers push forward and continue to hire, it has become competitive and a race to secure the best talent on the market. Again, we have seen the biggest increase in firms looking to secure Investment Risk talent professionals predominantly covering UCITS funds.

 Below is a brief overview on each of the areas of Risk and the changes we have witnessed over the last year.

Investment Risk

We have seen a vast increase in the need for senior UCITS/AIFMD focused experts who understand and have experience with covering the Investment process and regulatory requirements for both Ireland and Lux domiciled funds. With a large majority of firms developing and increasing their product range, these roles have attracted a premium in the market.

Operational Risk

With increased volatility in the market, the demand for first line controls professionals who have strong investment product knowledge have become highly desirable. We have seen a significant increase from Asset Managers to ensure they have the right infrastructure in place when it comes to the Risk framework and regulatory requirements.

Quantitative Analytics/Research

Hedge Funds have been continually active in sourcing the best and brightest Quant Researchers and PM’s covering various strategies. The focus on Machine Learning and utilisation of large datasets (particularly ESG) has been on the rise with a particular focus on individuals with a Mathematical/Computer Science background as well as a expert command of Python.

Asset Managers are continually increasing their systematic focus following the growth and success of the larger funds with the strategy. Compensation has increased dramatically as the market becomes more and more competitive with every firm trying to attract the brightest professionals available.

Diversity Focus

Elliott James have made it our goal to ensure wherever possible, we always provide a diverse and inclusive shortlist when hiring in recruitment across our asset management and hedge fund clients. It has been humbling to see the vast majority of our clients making it their objective to diversify their teams and provide an inclusive and supportive environment. We have recognised a number of diversity initiatives like “100 Black Interns” but recognise there is still more work to be done.

Overview and what to expect from 2021

Overall, 2020 has certainly been one of the toughest recruitment markets to operate in, some say worse than the 2008 crash. But we have seen positive movements across the board with high hopes for 2021. Risk will always be paramount to both Hedge Funds and Asset Managers, so if you would like to keep in the loop with the opportunities we are working on, please connect with our Risk Head Hunter, James Lacey on LinkedIn and keep an eye on our website for the latest roles we are working on.

If you are looking to begin a search mandate for your team or would like to have a discreet chat regarding your search, please feel free to contact James on james@elliottjamesconsulting.com