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Friday, 12th April 2024
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Strong growth and tight labour supply opens up opportunities Back  
FinanceJobs.ie looks at current trends in the stockbroking and corporate finance jobs market, and finds opportunities are plentiful for experienced professionals.
The continuing tight market labour market for financial services professionals means that there are now more opportunities than ever in stock broking and corporate finance, sectors which would traditionally have been difficult to get experience in.

However, the market is far more buoyant for experienced professionals, with graduates and professionals in other sectors finding it more difficult to get a position in front-office roles.

Staff shortages
Attracting and retaining good staff is one of the greatest issues facing the stockbroking and corporate finance sector according to two of the most senior stockbrokers in Ireland. Writing in FINANCE December, Adrian O'Carroll, head of institutional equities at Merrion, said that the tight supply of qualified candidates is 'one of the biggest constraints in Ireland', while Roy Barrett, chief executive of Goodbody Stockbrokers, said, 'Going forward…there's only one key challenge – making sure we hire and retain the best people,' adding that, 'The best talent is always in demand as the stockbroking industry is about matching capital with ideas, and the best people come up with the best ideas and have the better relationships with clients'.

As a result, stockbroking and corporate finance firms tend to promote from within and will often 'grow their own talent', says Lorraine Shine, a director in Fast Recruitment, adding 'which certainly helps with employee retention'.

Both Barrett and O'Carroll acknowledge this challenge and both of their firms have implemented policies of growing and grooming their own. O'Carroll pointed out that 'a lot of our best people are people who joined us at the start of their careers and have grown with the firm. We believe the organisational structure in Merrion is an ideal one for entrepreneurial people to join at an early stage and develop the skill sets to take them to the top of the industry.'
As the labour market is stretched, increasingly stockbroking and corporate finance firms are taking this route and looking to internally train staff as a way to help keep their pool of employees qualified and knowledgeable.

For instance, Goodbody Stockbrokers offers structured training programmes covering technical, business and people related skills as well as financial assistance and paid study leave for all employees that pursue relevant higher education qualifications while industry related exams are supported where appropriate.

Preferred skills
Networking skills are highlighted as an integral skill for this sector while the ability to build relationships with clients and ambition are traits that will help one to succeed in this area. Shine says that the type of person who often excels in this sector is someone who 'enjoys client interaction and building relationships and has a strong financial and commercial acumen', while Gareth McLaughlin, a senior recruitment consultant at Hunter Marshal adds that, 'an entrepreneurial individual with strong presentation skills' will do well.

As far as academic qualifications are concerned David Hannon, finance division manager at PPG, admits that a college degree isn't necessary to work in the sector, but that most people working in stockbroking have graduated from a third-level institution. He also notes that a post-graduate qualification is a distinct advantage when looking to start a career in the sector. As far as qualifications from industry bodies are concerned, a prerequisite for many positions in the sector is the Registered Representative exam, the industry qualification run in partnership between the Institute of Bankers and the Irish Stock Exchange, which qualifies individuals as 'registered persons', allowing them to execute transactions, give and publish advice or research on listed companies or on other securities provided that they are employed by a member firm of the Irish Stock Exchange.

Corporate finance
On the corporate finance side, Alan Bluett, a consultant at The IFSC Panel, says that there is a bias for an accountancy designation while the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification is also a major advantage. Colin McGhee, director at Paragon, says there are opportunities for experienced individuals in corporate finance, 'Demand is strongest for senior staff who can both originate and execute deals, but Ireland's corporate finance houses are also on the look out for accountants who can do the groundwork - one of Ireland's largest corporate finance houses is currently hiring executives and accountants after raising equity of more than euro 650 million for its clients in 2006.'

Career progression
On the sales side of the business McLaughlin says that fast progression within the workplace is realistic and top graduate level entrants can often find themselves progressing to relatively senior positions within 12-18 months if they show the commitment and skills required of the profession. However, as Bluett highlights, this is a results driven career and as a result the career often has a short life span, as Hannon says 'you can make lots of money selling at young age and get out and do something else with your life'.

As far as salaries are concerned entry level candidates in stockbroking can expect to earn anywhere from euro 23,000 up to euro 35,000 with middle management earning anything from euro 60,000 to 90,000 and senior management in the euro 100,000+ bracket.
These salaries are often topped up with performance-related bonuses. A typical bonus for a research analyst, depending on their performance, can be anything up to 100 per cent while sales professionals and traders' bonuses can reach 200 per cent of their annual salary if they exceed their targets.

For further information and for jobs in the stockbroking and corporate finance areas, as well as all other areas of finance log on to www.financejobs.ie

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