The economic crisis caused a seismic shift in the global economy, and for the UK the transformation it has undergone since 2008 has also affected the types of jobs now occurring most frequently on the hiring agenda. From the Lehman Brothers and the downward spiral of its banking peers to the growth in technology across all areas of life, risk professionals have come to the fore as businesses have had to demand a different approach to decision making as data has become an essential part of opportunity analysis.
Previously an exclusive prerequisite of the financial services, the risk function is more and more becoming a necessity to every sector of industry and though, as we move into the final quarter of 2015, hiring managers are focusing on acquisitions for 2016; risk professionals are still high on the recruitment agenda for banks and financial services globally. The heightened attention and pressure on the types and level of risk at organisations has led to a heavy volume of activity in the risk area with higher numbers of credit risk jobs in the UK, as well as vacancies in operational risk and IT risk.
It is predicted that the required capital level for banks globally will see a dramatic increase by 2019 further to the implementation of new government regulations, case in point the Basel III Accord. While a number of banks have reduced their risk-weighted assets this year, 30 global banks have reported an increase of 11% in risk-adjusted assets in the past three years. Thus opportunities for credit risk professionals remain very much in vogue as banks strategise ways to manage their risk. One such example of late has seen banks orchestrating capital-relief trades, the aim of which is to make a bank appear stronger by reducing its risk-weighted assets and making its capital seem higher. These trades are just one tool among many being utilised by banks to meet new capital requirements.
Credit risk opportunities in Europe are also becoming more prevalent within investment management finance. With some complacency creeping into portfolio positioning a large majority of investors feel comfortable exposing themselves to credit and illiquidity risk in their search for yield. However, while the prices are going up that complacency can rest easy, but when they start to drop such a flippant attitude will not hold up. That being said, credit risk is still a good risk to take according to those in the know, particularly relative to interest rate risk.
Whenever there’s a rise in banks’ business activities it usually follows that there is a requirement to increase headcount in credit risk. Though hiring managers will consider individuals from a variety of backgrounds, including finance, technology and legal for junior credit risk analysis jobs, in addition to of course qualified accountants from the Big Four; when it comes to the more senior roles in credit risk, banks are more likely to place more stringent requirements on sector-specific experience.
Companies are looking for candidates with a proven track record of proactive work ethos as well as excellent numeracy, analytical thinking and problem solving skills. As within all financial services operations, relationships with key stakeholders is of the utmost importance so excellent interpersonal and communications skills are crucial for credit risk jobs.