Asset managers cut rate of hiring in London by half on Brexit concerns


Job availability for roles in asset management in London has fallen by as much as half since the EU referendum, as hires in Paris and Luxembourg have ramped up, according to data by professional networking site, LinkedIn.

Fears surrounding the expected loss of passporting rights and changes to ‘delegation rules’ has meant the UK’s asset management industry could be restricted from access to international clients, according to the FT. As a result, global fund houses have reduced hires in their London bases as a post-Brexit contingency plan, while strengthening staffing operations elsewhere in the EU.

According to LinkedIn, investment groups have boosted hiring in Paris and Luxembourg since the referendum.

A survey by consultancy firm EY also showed more than half of asset management firms had already strengthened their existing operations in Europe with intentions to Brexit-proof their businesses.

“We are seeing a bigger push from UK and US managers to have boots on the ground in Europe,” said Jonathan Doolan, head of EMEA at Casey Quirk, Deloitte’s asset management consultancy. “London is not so much being dethroned as diluted.”

At the end of last week there were 1,867 investment management jobs listed in London, 339 in Paris and 278 in Luxembourg.

It said the number of London-based investment management job ads posted fell in the first quarter of this year to just under half the number posted in the same period in 2015 and to just over half the number for each of the first two quarters of 2016 in the run-up to the referendum. There were almost six times as many jobs posted in Luxembourg in the Q4 2017 as there were in the first three months of 2015, while Paris saw a rise in investment recruiting in the second half of 2016 and first half of 2017, with more than 10 times as many jobs posted in the Q1 2017 compared to the same period in 2015.


“The asset management community is looking at how they access the European Economic Area and considering what, if anything, they might need to do should that access change post Brexit,” said Emma Rachmaninov, a fund management specialist at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the law firm.

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said last week that large investment banks and asset managers had put in place plans for Brexit, shifting fewer jobs from London initially than originally feared. He said: “We have dammed the flow [of financial sector jobs out of the UK] and have avoided what could possibly have been a haemorrhage of jobs.”

Meanwhile, the Treasury’s asset management task force, which includes chief executives of the UK’s biggest money managers, such as Schroders’ Peter Harrison and LGIM’s Mark Zinkula, is due to hold its third meeting on May 3.


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