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Financial Services Market Update June 2019

Despite economic, political and market uncertainty in 2018/19, our Oakleaf Financial Services Practice benefitted from another record year. Due to consistently high hiring volumes, our Financial & Professional Services team separated allowing us to have an enhanced sector specialism in each respective industry. Our Financial Services team has grown by an additional 3 people over the last 12 months to support growing customer demand.

Salary Trends

We are typically seeing 5-10% increases at Analyst / Associate level and10-20% uplifts at VP / Senior Manager level for external hires. Internal annual salary reviews are typically 2-3% excluding promotions where individuals typically incur a £5,000-£15,000 increase depending upon individual skills, experience & role scope. We are seeing the biggest pay increases (permanent and interim) apply to HR Change/ Projects (SMCR, IR35, Systems) and Governance specialists given increasing levels of regulation impacting the financial services market.


HR professionals increasingly need to upskill on data analytics, reporting & systems implementation to support decision making & operational efficiency. As a result, those HR Generalists with the ability to analyse and interpret data will be at an immediate advantage. Learning & Development functions have also re-structured to include; Talent, Coaching, Learning Management Systems and Professional Development to support talent retention and people development strategies. Being a "Trainer" in a BAU L&D role is becoming less common and L&D functions have had to review roles as a result, to help drive Talent / People Change in organisations. Furthermore, cost-cutting and restructuring (primarily in the bulge bracket banks) has seen a number of Recruitment & HR Ops / HR Admin roles offshored (primarily to Asia / Eastern Europe) or relocated to the Northern UK Regions. As a result, London based teams are operating on a leaner basis and have reduced individual capacity, in a number of circumstances covering multiple roles.

Sectors showing growth

A number of HR professionals who have always operated in the financial services market are now looking to transition into Tech / FinTech where organisations are deemed to be embracing more innovative/creative people strategies with a higher "social" purpose and more flexible culture. Financial Services organisations will need to re-address current working practices/culture in order to remain competitive. Investment Management has seen the most activity from a Financial Services perspective (30% of total FS team revenue) where increasing regulation has meant HR teams have needed to resource appropriately.

Other key themes in the Financial Services HR market that employers are focusing on include SMCR, IR35, health & wellbeing in the workplace, diversity & inclusion, tech disruption/digitalisation.


Furthermore, we are actively hiring 2 Consultants for our growing FS business. If you would like to join a supportive team within a growing company we encourage you to get in touch to discuss your experience to date.

Charlotte Matthew

0207 337 7691

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