So a New Year starts – both in the UK and Asia – and with it fresh challenges? Well, not really; the Securities Services industry is still facing many of the issues which dogged it over the past few years; a low interest rate environment, a reluctance to invest heavily in staff or operations and a desire to cut costs wherever possible. On the bright side, they say ‘it’s always darkest before the dawn’ so my personal contention is that whilst we have a little way to go before we find rock bottom, there will come a time where confidence returns, firms invest and rates will rise and the first signs of change might come as early as Q3 this year. Asia remains relatively strong, especially for the indigenous and American banks there, whilst the European banks are burdened with Eurozone issues and their focus is hence somewhat distracted at present.
For those firms which are hiring, in terms of areas of demand, clients are still looking for experienced salespeople and change managers as well as people with solid strategic experience from a practical perspective, not necessarily just with a consultant background.
Gong Hey Fat Choy!