Once upon a time, the most desirable jobs in banking and finance were investment roles in private equity funds and portfolio management jobs in hedge funds. Not any more. Today, some of the most alluring roles are those involving Brexit and Brexit preparedness.
So suggest application figures for jobs on this site. In the past three months, four out of ten of our most popular jobs in terms of applications were for roles concerning Brexit preparations - and most of the remaining six were for project management jobs with a likely Brexit-focus.
It's a big change from the past. A similar analysis for the first quarter of 2017 shows the usual suspects gaining the most applications: jobs for analysts and traders at hedge funds or for analysts at funds of private equity funds were all the rage. Today, by comparison, the most popular jobs have titles like, 'Front office business analyst, Brexit Programme,' or 'Business analyst, Brexit books and trade readiness.'
Over 2,000 people have applied for such roles in a three month period. Private equity funds eat your heart out.
It's not hard to see why Brexit-related jobs are so popular - rarely has there been a chance for so much business-critical exposure in so short a period of time. Jayaram Subramanyam, the EMEA Brexit lead at Wells Fargo Securities in London outlines the sheer scope of the role in his LinkedIn profile: he needs to implement a credible post-Brexit business model. to work with the front, middle and back office in doing so, and to liaise with external lobbying bodies and legal firms. It's the same elsewhere. Goldman Sachs is currently advertising a 'market structure transition' job connected to Brexit, which it says will involve working with, 'divisional leadership, sales, trading, strats and the federation.' For an operations and regulatory professional looking to make his or her mark, Brexit looks like a once-in-a-career gift.
Juniors are well aware of this: "There are some amazing jobs linked to Brexit," says one J.P. Morgan junior. "You can strategy across the firm working with all desks - front to back. They're not revenue generating jobs, but they're very, very interesting."
LinkedIn suggests there are over 3,000 people working on Brexit programmes in banks and financial services firms globally, with 2,000 of them in the UK. Many are contractors who previously worked on regulations like MiFID II and are now earning £550 to £750 a day. Others are full time employees who've transitioned into niche Brexit roles from other regulatory projects. Barclays, for example, has data analysts working on a 'European Referendum Response Programme', and someone called Renee McTavish whose entire job is to communicate about Brexit to employees and the outside world. Most banks have internal specialists dealing with the complex issue of Brexit-related asset migration.
The preponderance and popularity of jobs relating to Brexit comes after recruitment firm Morgan McKinley suggested that finance jobs and candidates in London are disappearing. Last month, Morgan McKinley calculated that new finance jobs in London were down 29% on June 2017; new candidates were down 35% over the same period. London recruiters and job-seekers need to hope, then, that Brexit is a long and drawn out process: while other jobs dwindle, there's plenty to do making sense of what's coming next - and no shortage of people keen to do it.
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