2019 Recruiting Trends (It’s Diversity)

At Jamesbeck, we’ve noted a number of trends in financial services this year in the area of recruiting, including the salient issue of diversity.


Recruiting: It’s all about Disruption, Alternatives, FinTech, & Quant


The top areas for recruiting in 2019 are as follows:


  • Senior leadership with an eye towards dynamic, disruptive leaders willing to make systemic changes in organizations, and in the manner businesses are structured and managed;
  • Multi-asset solutions;
  • Alternatives strategies, particularly in the private markets and real assets;
  • Technology, data and Fintech;
  • Quant investing; and
  • Analytical and system-minded people who can span across functions.


In other recruiting trends, we’ve observed that non-solicit and non-compete clauses vary by firm and organizational size. Boutique firms generally take a more stringent approach, while larger firms tend to waive them completely. Also, more firms are implementing “garden leave” clauses to restrict certain business activities of an employee, for a period of time prior to their termination.


Diversity: There’s a war for the top talent


Diversity has become a key consideration when attracting and hiring new talent. There’s essentially a war going on for the top diverse talent – women and minorities – as firms put quotas in place, and hiring manager compensation is tied to diversity hiring achievements. This activity is driving up compensation levels for diverse talent, with some firms overpaying for it. In the last year, almost sixty percent of Jamesbeck’s placements have involved diverse candidates, which reflects the value we and our clients place on this issue.


Outlook: Hiring is down overall and firms hyper-value the few hires they do make


Given outflows from active management, 2018 fourth quarter challenges, low interest rates, and calls for an impending downturn, asset management firms appear to be exhibiting trepidation with respect to superfluous recruitment. In response, firm recruiting activities in 2019 have been focused in the areas noted above.


Dig deeper into diversity issues with our podcast!


Please be sure to check out my podcast episode “Advancing Gender Equality in Investment Management” where I explore women in leadership in the investment management community with Cheri Belski of T. Rowe Price and Meg Staczek of Capacity Group.


If you have any questions or comments, or would like to discuss any of the topics addressed in this piece, please feel free to contact me.