Want to know about the future of fintech careers? Hays’ Carl Piesse is here to take you through the hottest and most promising careers in financial services.
Rapidly evolving technologies, higher customer expectations and increasingly strict regulations are creating a fertile ground for disruptive innovations in the financial services sector.
This, in turn, is leading to great changes in the employment landscape, with a range of new skills now required to have a successful long-term career in financial services. Amid all this, these are what we expect to be the top five most promising careers in the sector.
‘Compliance manager’, ‘compliance analyst’, ‘lending compliance officer’, ‘AML compliance officer’, ‘KYC officer’ and ‘financial risk managers’. Many shades of the ‘compliance’ job exist that will become increasingly prominent over the next few years as the regulatory burden increases.
In fact, the only area recording steady job growth in financial services since the financial crisis has been in legal, compliance and risk areas according to Reuters. The Wall Street Journal even wrote in an article a couple of years ago that compliance officer was ‘the hottest job in America’. Not bad for a profession that used to be seen just as a supportive function.
Hackers and online robbers go where the money is. Financial services are one of the most obvious targets. Research from IBM’s X-Force research team revealed the financial services industry was attacked more than any other industry in 2016 – 65pc more than the average organisation across all industries.
Conversely, the cybersecurity skills gap is expanding at an alarming rate. A recent report by Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that cybercrime will more than triple the number of job openings over the next five years. It also predicts that there will be 3.5m unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021. Demand for experts is red hot, and candidates can command high salaries.
“A great transfer in wealth from ageing baby boomers to younger generations is under way, and it is reshaping the wealth management industry in ways that demand greater efficiency and adaptation by incumbent firms,” writes Forbes.
The magazine adds that the shift to new investors is happening against a backdrop of disruption – an explosion of data, the rise of digital generations and the robo-advisers to serve them, and secular headwinds in the global economy.
However, far from ringing the death knell of wealth management, this disruption will actually increase the need for advisers able to offer a very personalised service.
A survey by Forbes, in partnership with banking software vendor Temenos, revealed that well-heeled clients do not want robots to totally replace their trusted wealth managers: 62pc of high-net-worth individuals who responded said that the digitisation of wealth management services is good overall, but that they still wanted to meet often with an adviser.
Proof, yet again, that the ‘human touch’ is more important than ever in a sector soon to be dramatically affected by technology.
Deloitte highlights the ‘strategic’ role of data in a report in partnership with the World Economic Forum about the trends affecting the financial services industry: “Emerging innovations allow financial institutions to access new data sets, such as social data, that enable new ways of understanding customers and markets.”
Empowered by the internet and digital technologies, clients are indeed becoming ‘prosumers’ and want financial services firms to offer them a more relevant and individual service tailored to their evolving needs. This will be only achievable thanks to data.
So, data scientists, chief data officers, financial data analysts and data analytics managers will increasingly be in demand to sift through information that can give greater insights into their markets.
Amid all the changes taking place in the financial services industry and increased competition, financial services firms know that the weapon of choice is innovation.
A recent study by PwC and Corporate Executive Board revealed that 61pc of CEOs believe innovation is a priority, while 75pc of executives are concerned with not having enough ideas.
This is why the position of ‘chief innovation officer’ is likely to become a key C-suite role, just like the chief technology officer over the past decade.
Keeping up with the demand for new, relevant services and products is key to the sector’s future. The firms in the sector that have not taken this on board are the Kodaks and Blockbusters of tomorrow.
By Carl Piesse
Carl Piesse is a business director for financial services at Hays. His responsibilities cover both the operational and strategic aspects required to continue growth within this sector.
A version of this article originally appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blog.