Buyside hiring activity is buzzing at 2000 and 2005 levels, a direct result of pent-up demand from hiring freezes during the pandemic. Hiring is especially robust in the digital assets space with candidates in crypto trading, systematic, and high frequency trading shops in demand.
These are the year’s financial executive recruitment trends, according to insights and data from the new 2021/2022 Global Buyside Report from Options Group, the preeminent Wall Street talent acquisition and development firm. The theme of this year’s report is “The Return versus The Resign.” More than one year later from the pandemic’s worst, fewer people live in city centers. Others left the workforce entirely to pursue lifestyle and career changes, despite ambiguous outcomes.
Though offices may never again run at full capacity, companies are adapting to radical hybrid work environments to evolve to a technology-empowered workforce.
“While the buyside has shown significant flexibility around remote work, many managers are becoming more eager and less patient about getting their employees back into the office. Investment professionals permanently working from home may be less conducive to drive profits on the buyside, especially during market downturns. Hybrid works, permanent remote will not,” says Options Group Co-Chief Operating Officer Push Patel.
“The financial industry is about risk management, so we need to be prepared to manage the worst market volatility, and that requires a concentrated group effort.”
On market performance, Patel says, “Outside of March 2020, last year was an outlier and saw record-breaking performance across most buyside firms, notably HFT shops, but 2021 was full of bifurcation. Meme stock frenzies, growing inflation, and the recent downturn across the macro and treasury markets hurt a few of the biggest names in the hedge fund arena, even though the overall hedge fund industry is close to $4 trillion in assets, its highest ever.
“There continues to be an aggressive hiring sentiment across all strategies and business lines, as more firms look to diversify outside of their core offerings. More organizations want to marry the worlds of fundamental investing with quantitative investing, to drive a more holistic and scientific approach to investing. Everyone has technology and data, or at least exposure to it, so why not evolve?
“The digital asset trend is continuing, and more and more funds are looking to learn and grow in the crypto trading space. Options Group has not only helped many systematic and HFT firms in this space, but has started to see an interest in discretionary and fundamental funds looking to have exposure. We believe this will continue to be an area of high growth.
“As investment professionals move firms, Options Group will continue serving our clients with our own technologies to help drive better hiring decisions and with more conviction.
About this year’s Global Buyside Report
The report is available in late November 2021, and is compiled based on data available between January 1 through November 12, 2021.
Access to the full report is granted only to C-Suite and global HR executives, and is used as a vital tool to advise on payouts and trends across the entire financial executive compensation landscape.
Data in the buyside report represents the total compensation to be paid to employees at top-tier financial services institutions. Total compensation is defined as base salary plus cash and non-cash bonuses awarded for 2021, excluding the value of carried interest and management fees. Data, key trends, and forecasts are based on results from the firm's OGiQ intelligence unit, public data such as SEC filings, and surveys conducted among more than global buyside Options Group consultants.
The figures in the report reflect total compensation and are compensation benchmarks for professionals whose bonuses are paid on a discretionary basis. The data is in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards.
About Options Group
Founded in 1992, Options Group is a leading global talent acquisition and strategic consulting firm for the financial services and technology industry. Since 2000, we have maintained a local presence on five continents and have placed over 16,000 mid- to senior-level professionals in all areas of the financial services industry at a range of institutions. With more than 175 consultants and market intelligence professionals worldwide, Options Group has a thorough knowledge of key competencies in the financial industry and is at the cutting edge of global hiring services and compensation trends for securities, investment banking, hedge funds, asset management, and information technology.