In the City, experts of European regulations are in demand

Jul 28, 2016 | Les Echos

Affected by the decline of the pound, job applicants are eyeing US banks that calculate bonuses in dollars.

A quest for the best talent responsible for risk post-Brexit has been launched in the City. KPMG has appointed one of its senior members, Karen Briggs, "head of Brexit". The consulting company Flint is looking for a manager to advise European and British groups on the risks associated with output consequences of Britain. On the website of Sheffield Haworth, rated the number one recruitment boutique for financial services, a specific tab is now devoted to Brexit expertise. In banks "Brexit departments are being set up everywhere, looking for senior European regulatory experts", says Stéphane Rambosson, managing partner for financial services at DHR International and head of the London office.

Purchasing power decline

But these positions are not open to ordinary London bankers, unless they are experienced in regulatory issues. Most City financiers are looking to limit the effect that the fall of the pound has on their purchasing power. London remains the financial center which best pays it's financial expatriates, but their pay envelopes have already declined by 9% last year, according to ECA International. The decline in pay accelerates the movement, along side the promise to decrease bonuses further this year. "We must not delude ourselves. Those today who try to renegotiate their package or convert it to dollars are declined," says the head hunter Diane Segalen. "The only alternative is to switch banks. "

In this game, US banks are winning. "Their employees are paid in pounds, but their standard of pay and especially their bonuses are calculated on a dollar basis," explains Stéphane Rambosson. They will be able to display stable year-end variables where competitors will be down. Above all, they are in much better shape than their British and European competitors. "These are less attractive to some, the rules are stricter, they are less capitalized and lose market share," he said.

On professional networks like LinkedIn, the difference is obvious. Where European banks highlight their cultural benefits, the US hold a financial red carpet, like Morgan Stanley (fifty vacancies) or Bank of America (one hundred) that boast a competitive basis, discretionary bonuses, and other benefits. JP Morgan (twenty open positions ranging from cybersecurity vendor rate tester) even mentions "a very competitive package," in some cases "exceptional" for an investment banker covering sovereign funds.


This article has been translated. For the full Les Echos article in French please click here.