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Interim Market Report 2011 - Risk Management Market Analysis

Risk Management 
Jun 2009
Dec 2009
Jun 2010
Dec 2010
Jun 2011
New vacancies
56
102
140
136
130
Closing vacancies
39
56
85
92
96
Candidates registering
320
331
214
191
175
Defensive registrations
37%
19%
7%
8%
9%
Overall Salary increase
7%
9%
17%
19%
17%


The number of risk managers employed in the financial services industry, having grown substantially during the last 18 months, is starting to plateau. However, the total numbers employed and the overall quality of risk managers is now higher than it was prior to the recession. The risk management profession now enjoys a level of influence in the financial services industry that was not previously there. From a regulatory and management perspective, risk management must not only be seen but also heard. Given this higher profile and at any given time the finite number of risk managers available, it is not surprising that many financial services groups are finding it difficult to recruit risk managers at the standard they desire. Many of the best risk managers are receiving multiple offers, together with ‘buy backs’ from their existing employers. It is also clear how delicately both the economy and financial system is currently balanced. Whilst the total number of people employed in the financial services industry is growing, there are still concerns about growth and falling business volumes. Cost reduction plans still remain very much in place.

Vacancies

The number of vacancies registered in the first half of 2011 has fallen from 136 in the second half of 2010 to 130 in the first half of 2011. The second half of 2010 was probably the high point in demand in the current economic cycle. The initial response to the financial crisis, to invest heavily in risk management and corporate governance has now taken place. If companies were going to establish or expand risk management departments, this has now been completed or is in the process of being completed. However, given the greater number of people now working in risk management, the ongoing demand for risk managers will be higher than prior to the recession.

The number of outstanding vacancies has risen from 92 at the end of 2010 to a post recession high of 96. This reflects both the difficulty that many companies have in securing the services of appropriately experienced risk managers and their determination not to compromise. It is also indicative of the more cautious approach to recruitment that many financial services groups are now taking. It is not unusual for additional interviews to be introduced to the recruitment process and for hiring decisions to be made at a higher level of management.

Given the feeble state of the wider economy, such caution is perhaps a small price to pay for the very real gains made by the risk management profession.

Candidate Registrations

Most candidates are now entering the recruitment market for the more prosaic reasons of career development, rather than the fear of redundancy. Defensive registrations are currently at 9%. Although edging up from a low of 7% last year, this is still a historically low level. These statistics are indicative of the general confidence most risk managers feel about their job security, even though the total number of candidate registrations is falling. The most likely reason for this being that many risk managers took the opportunity to move last year and, whilst not concerned about their personal job security, are still aware of the many continuing risks to the financial system.

Salaries

Salary increases achieved by risk managers has fallen from 19% to 17% and is indicative of the caution that is currently being exercised in the industry. Whilst in treasury risk there have been examples of 50% salary increases, these are very much the exception. In an economy where real earnings are falling and most employees in the financial services industry are receiving salary increases equivalent to inflation, 17% remains a relatively high percentage. Many companies remain determined to secure the services of appropriately experienced risk managers. There are a number who are showing restraint and are more prepared to sell the quality of their opportunity. If the salary differential is not too great, this approach is often successful.

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