Investment operations recruitment picking up again

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The investment operations space in Scotland has switched from recruitment frenzy to something of a hiring hiatus over the last year or so. Now, however, it's showing some signs of life again.

The oft quoted fact that BNP Paribas is recruiting 80 people for its Glasgow operation is no secret, but Alan Thornburrow, chief executive of Scottish Investment Operations, tells us that both State Street and Morgan Stanley have again opened up to the idea of hiring.

"Investment operations firms are definitely adding staff," he says. "Either they're seeing increased levels of business or certain functions have been transferred back to Scotland from other areas. If it’s the former, they're often recruiting for VP level and above as they need somebody to hit the ground running."

But there's also some opportunities lower down the ranks, says Margaret Dyer, director of Joslin Rowe in Scotland, particularly around the areas of corporate actions and settlements.

"From the first week of June, we've seen more activity in the investment operations space than at any time throughout the year. But this is obviously in smaller numbers than in previous years," she says.

Ironically, in spite of the fact there are still only a handful of roles, firms are still facing the same recruitment issues. Thornburrow says that firms are attracting more applications, but the standard hasn't been particularly great.

Similarly, Dyer tells us that a reluctance to move among Scotland's investment operations community means firms are still struggling to find "the skill-sets specific to the roles".