Asset Managers and professional asset allocators are set to continue their strong focus on ESG and Sustainability focused activities and team-builds in 2023, driven by continued momentum from clients and reinforced by additional SDR/SFDR regulations, focused on improving investor confidence and reducing the risks of greenwashing.
Notwithstanding forecast economic data indicating UK, Euro-zone and US inflation will start moderating from recent double-digit highs through the to the back-end of ’23, it is projected that high volumes of professionals will consider leaving their current roles if cost-of-living salary adjustments are not made. These projections are further highlighted by insights from Karen Ward, Chief Market Strategist, EMEA at JP Morgan Asset Management, who this week advised; “The labour market is still very tight, and wage growth is accelerating. Although the labour market tends to lag in activity, the recent data from the PMIs suggest that if anything, the momentum in the labour market is improving, not deteriorating.”
Further complicating the landscape is the disparity of organisational culture and staff retention approaches between US and UK-led businesses. While US-headquartered companies typically have shorter notice periods of approximately 2-3 weeks and a more ruthless mindset, UK/EU-grown firms typically have notice periods of 3-6 months and a more consultative process. Disgruntled employees from UK and EU-led firms who haven’t received offers of inflation-adjusted salaries are expected to be in search of new roles in the coming months, and there are already a number of highly talented and experienced candidates in the market, having been released from top-rated US-led firms who led the culling process due to fallout from 2022 market turmoil and corporate action. Companies are advised to articulate the growth and stability of their teams following a volatile year yielding low returns across nearly all asset classes and strategies. At Coopman, we stand ready to assist companies or individuals at short notice in response to this expected fallout.
Companies that have had positive performances in 2022, based on the asset classes and investment strategies they manage, will likely have a headcount budget to fill skill gaps and add new capacity.
Firms under balance sheet pressure due to diminished asset bases and income sources must be selective in identifying who is key in their business – whom they would struggle to replace – and consider individual performance allowance. A complete CTC and Business Impact replacement exercise should be done on all key staff, as such a departure could result in a meaningful time and cost impact on a business beyond merely a salary replacement. Indeed, a company with a weakened market profile may struggle to replace a key staff member on the equivalent cost-to-company, with prospective replacements candidates demanding a ‘danger-pay premium.’
Professionals with proven experience in private market alternatives (PE/PC/Infrastructure), seasoned credit analysts and credit portfolio managers, and those who hold specialist skills in ESG/Impact/Sustainable Investment, in addition to those who can support the continual industry dynamic shifts into new generation strategies, remain highly sought after.
If you are interested in learning more about live opportunities, or you would like to discuss how we can support your hiring processes in the current market, please get in touch with Gareth Connellan, Principal Recruiter in Asset Management.