Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Financial contractors show optimism but some doubts linger on

Matthew Brown, MD of giant group

Perhaps unsurprisingly, our latest analysis of our contractor database has found that financial specialists are feeling highly optimistic about their futures. However, amidst this positivity, professionals have also reported some ongoing lingering doubts about the security of their roles. But what are the reasons behind these trends?

Our analysis found that 94% of finance specialists expect rates to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. In addition, just 6% of respondents predict there to be a fall in the number of available opportunities. It also appears as if assignments are coming thick and fast as 85% reported an absolute maximum gap of just 30 days between opportunities. So what is driving this demand?

As has been the case since the global recession, the ever-growing regulatory burden is responsible for much of the demand for talent. We’ve written about this previously and it’s highly unlikely that this will change anytime soon. The growth of M&A activity has also contributed with some commentators suggesting that 2015 could be the best year for mergers and acquisitions since the recession. Factors such as the development of the UKGAAP financial reporting standard have played a part in raising demand, particularly for accountants specialising in derivatives who have been highly sought after. Generally, the strong economic forecast is supporting ongoing growth for financial institutions which inevitably leads to experts being recruited on a contract basis.

However, aside from the wave of positivity, our analysis found some interesting results highlighting that many contractors aren’t feeling as confident as they perhaps should be. In fact, many appear to be experiencing a lingering hangover from the global recession. As we all know, the crisis affected professionals in nearly every sector and industry and financial contractors were no exception. The analysis found that 60% would still favour a long term assignment over higher per hour pay, while the largest group (45%) took just one week of annual leave during work assignments, suggesting that some still feel insecure about their roles.

As the market continues to grow and demand holds strong, it’s likely that the majority of these doubts will dissipate. After all, there are only a certain number of experts in the market who hold these specialist skills. Current market conditions indicate that more growth is on the way and financial contractors will continue to benefit for the foreseeable future. By the time we next analyse our database of finance specialists it’s likely that those who were holding doubts will have reversed their opinion and will feel considerably more comfortable, and secure, in their roles.

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