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Executive finance positions in the financial services sector represent a prominent market for the global retained executive search industry.
Financial Services Executive Search Outlook
In a survey conducted at the end of 2012, just over 35% of AESC member executive finance headhunters rated the financial service industry as stable, strong or very strong. Another 30% of finance recruiters believe that the financial service sector is weak but improving, while 35% viewed the same sector as generally weak.
Among the executives in the Financial Services sectored surveyed in the 2013 BlueSteps Executive Outlook Report, 36.5% had a positive outlook for the finance executive job market, 36.5% felt neutral, and 27.0% had a negative outlook.
State of the Financial Services Industry
Financial Services currently holds the third largest market share with regard to executive recruiting at 17.6%, only surpassed by Industrial and Consumer Products. As the recession subsides, the financial services industry opens a number of senior executive opportunities for pursuit. In Q1 2013, searches in financial services have increased 3% compared to that of Q1 2013.
Specialties and Areas of Growth for Executive Jobs in Financial Services
The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants has more than 1,000 member retained executive search consultants and finance headhunters for senior executive jobs in financial services around the world. Finance recruiters are actively seeking senior executives for all specializations within Financial Services including: Asset Management, Consumer, Corporate, Investment Banking, Equities, Hedge Funds, Risk Management, Securities, Venture Capital and Wealth Management.
Betsy Wood, Director of the New York office of Global Sage and AESC member, explains, "senior roles continue to be needed, but they are changing. There are fewer pure ‘management’ or rainmaker roles, as opposed to hands-on leadership and continued P&L responsibility for clients, even at the most senior levels." She continues with an example: "In terms of retained search, there's a lot more emphasis on specialized sales jobs.""
Wood advises that people "figure out how to use their experience in a different context." She says that those trained in structured finance should consider retraining in order to "leverage their experience into a different area of finance." She suggests pursuing CFA or CAIA qualifications to transition into a quantitative analysis position or another similar area in finance.
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