Any technologist considering a move from the City to a role in Edinburgh would have previously been doing so for the opportunity to buy a larger flat and greater proximity to the Fringe festival, rather than for career reasons. Now, however, salaries are starting to increase.
According to recruitment sources north of the border, a number of large financial institutions in Edinburgh – notably Lloyds Banking Group, its fund manager Scottish Widows Investment Partnership and Royal Bank of Scotland – are rolling out some big IT projects and looking to recruit contractors from the London market.
So far, most of the roles are strategic rather than purely technical, but the rates being offered are similar to City rates. Project managers have been offered up to £1,000 a day, suggest specialist recruiters, but £800-900 a day is more frequent. Business analysts are securing £600-700 day rates, they tell us.
SWIP is switching to a passive investment approach driven by quant models – which resulted in a mass culling of its investment staff – and is now believed to be investing heavily in IT.
“A number of financial services firms in Edinburgh are now utilising IT contractors as they reshape their business for growth after a period of contraction,” says Mike Stirton, divisional director at Core Asset Consulting in Edinburgh. “We’re seeing a lot of contract roles for project managers, programme directors, test managers and business analysts.”
There’s also a still steady supply of roles from the investment banks with IT development centres in Glasgow, notably Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan.
“IT in finance has continued to be an active sector,” says Mike Leeman, director of financial services at recruiters Bright Purple. “Most of these roles pay between £35-50k, however, and banks are looking to recruit from the local market.”