The quietly brewing recruitment spree in commodities IT

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Considering the fact that some banks have pulled out of commodities, and others have scaled back, it would be slightly foolhardy to suggest that the IT job market in the sector is booming. However, there’s an increasing amount of recruitment emerging from tech vendors, trading houses and investment banks alike.

Firstly, the tech major vendors in the commodities and energy sector – Brady, Trayport, Openlink, Sungard and Triple Point Technology - are experiencing a surge in sales, as Financial News highlighted recently. This as a result of commodity trading houses looking to bring in tech solutions to help mitigate price and counterparty risks.

Rob Slaughter, ETRM consultant at IT in finance recruiters Nicol Curtin, suggests that vendors have become a “more attractive option” to technologists in the commodities sector who may have otherwise looked to an investment banking project.

“Commodities traders have looked to vendor systems to provide new functionality and reliability that would either prove too costly to build in-house or take too long to replicate,” he says.

While these tech vendors are recruiting in the UK, it’s largely for consultants or sales staff rather than purely technical roles.

There are also opportunities in the larger commodities trading houses for in-house projects suggest headhunters. The likes of Noble Group, EDF Energy and Trafigura are all believed to be hiring.

What’s more, most of the major investment banks still have openings for commodities IT specialists. Citi, which runs its commodities trading platform on Openlink, is recruiting for around for around 10 roles, while Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan are all hiring, suggest recruiters.

“A number of the large banks are still building commodities trading and risk management platforms in-house, either to increase their competitive advantage or re-engineer their current offering,” says Paul Bennie, managing director of IT in finance headhunters Bennie MacLean. “There are also a number of openings for vendor integration roles.”

If you’re an Openlink Endur specialist working on a contract basis within an investment bank, it can be relatively lucrative. At the senior end of the market, it’s possible to earn up to £1,200 a day (although increasingly unlikely in this period of rate cuts), although £750-850 is the norm.

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