Joslin Rowe, one of the leading UK financial services recruitment firms, have released research that suggests the type of candidate most likely to be hired into a temporary product control job is going to change, following a warning from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that firms need to maintain their valuation and product controls more stringently.
Tom Forrest, associate director of Joslin Rowe’s temporary accountancy & finance recruitment division, clarifies: “The UK Financial Services Authority has issued a ‘Dear CEO’ letter, cautioning banks and investment firms with trading operations that they will be visiting in the first half of 2009 to focus on valuation control processes. For many firms, this will be the impetus to change the type of person they look for in both temporary and permanent product control hires.”
According to Joslin Rowe research, product control departments have evolved enormously in the last 5 years and because of that, the parameters of product control careers have changed.
“Over the years, the number crunching of profit and loss figures have all been offshored,” explains Forrest. “Today, the typical temporary product control job in the UK market is a very analytical and risk orientated position. Product control job specs are asking for a totally different class of person for what’s essentially seen as a new breed of role.”
The current climate of concern over risk exposure and writedowns will also add fuel to the demand for strong product controllers.
“Confidence can only return to the market when product valuations and controls are watertight,” believes Forrest. “The product control function will be vital in achieving this. Candidates need to demonstrate, at interview, that they can build robust relationships with the trading floor and can control the big personalities that often dominate.”
Forrest predicts that the market will see a real shift in the type of temporary product control jobs being recruited for over the remainder of the year.
“Obviously, there’s a massive amount of market caution, so hiring the right staff to support a more rigid infrastructure, whether that’s on a temporary or permanent basis, will be the main focus” states Forrest. “Anyone with product control experience typically gained within overseas banks or securities firms, who’s risk aware with a strong attitude, will find themselves in demand for any temporary product control jobs on offer. It’s worth noting good candidates are still securing multiple job offers even in this difficult market. Rates aren’t dipping either, at up to £500 a day for a temporary product control job.”