Can you still earn £1,000+ a day working on a contract basis within financial services? Pay cuts for contractors have become as common as colds in winter, and as Commerzbank’s latest redundancies show, banks are increasingly choosing to convert contract staff into low-cost permanent employees in cheaper locations.
And yet, as skill-sets become more specialised – particularly in the hot compliance, regulatory and change management sectors – a select group of individuals are still able to haul in four figures for each day they work. According to figures provided by recruiters Venn Group, Robert Walters, Morgan McKinley and information available on eFinancialCareers, here are the highest paying contract jobs currently.
1. Risk business architect – up to £1,500 a day
Investment banks want risk strategists and are willing to pay for this talent on an interim basis. The job involves designing risk management frameworks at the chief operating officer level, driving the changes throughout the organisation and liaising with everyone from regulators, to internal risk management MDs and IT.
2. Programme manager, front office change management, up to £1,300 a day
As you’ll see from the remaining positions listed here, senior change management professionals are hot property and can generally command high day rates. However, those working on front office projects are paid the most, with rates starting at £800 a day, but rising to a potential £1,300.
3. Programme manager, compliance change management, up to £1,100 a day
4. Programme manager, investment banking operations change management, up to £1,100 a day
5. Qualified actuary, 3-8 years’ PQE, £1,000+ a day
It used to be that actuaries working on a contract basis on projects related to Solvency II could command up to £1,200 a day as insurers grappled to get to grips with the regulation. Things aren't as good as they were, but experienced actuaries willing to take a contract role can easily earn over £1,000 a day, suggests Robert Walters.
6. Money Laundering Reporting Officer, £1,000 a day
Demand is up for compliance professionals willing to work on a contract basis throughout the financial sector, but financial crime is a particularly hot area, suggests Venn Group. Anyone with a working knowledge of regulatory developments in financial crime who can, 'hit the ground running' and help implement an 'anti-money laundering framework' is able to command healthy day rates.
7. CASS project lead, £1,000 a day
Investment banks and asset managers alike are still struggling to interpret and implement the Financial Conduct Authority’s Client Asset Rules (CAR/CASS) and are keen to bring in project managers on six-month contracts to help get up to speed. Project management positions pay up to £800 a day, but project leaders are more likely to command £1,000 a day, suggests Venn Group.
8. Quantitative risk analyst, up to £1,000 a day
Quant analysts who can help investment banks develop their CVA and credit exposure models can command up to £100k on a full-time basis, but senior quant analysts willing to work as a contractor can bring in up to £1,000 a day, suggests Morgan McKinley.
9. Senior data officer, investment banking, up to £1,000 a day
If you have the skills and gravitas to lead a big data project in the front office of a top investment bank, the rewards can be great. Financial services organisations are frantically trying to hire data scientists on a full-time basis. However, contract roles are very lucrative as well.