Boom Time in Banking Operations; While Recruitment Goes through the Roof, Candidates Must Show Better Interpersonal Skills

The Evening Standard (London, England), July 25, 2006 | Go to article overview

Boom Time in Banking Operations; While Recruitment Goes through the Roof, Candidates Must Show Better Interpersonal Skills


Byline: NIKI CHESWORTH

SEVEN in 10 banking operations professionals say their role has changed significantly in the past five years, reports a survey of London personnel.

According to a poll by recruitment consultancy Joslin Rowe, 40 per cent said they now required more analytical skills, 37 per cent said there was more emphasis on communication and 23 per cent said they were required to operate more strategically.

No longer just about administration, banking operations today requires a much more diverse set of skills - and offers far more varied and interesting opportunities.

Michelle Bloomfield, director of Joslin Rowe, said: "There is no doubt that operations is a completely different career now than it was in the Nineties.

At interview, candidates are required to demonstrate stronger interpersonal skills and an ability to improve processes.

Operations is perceived increasingly as profitgenerating rather than a pure support function, and the calibre of staff must reflect this. Roles are not as processdriven, so banks require business-smart individuals with client-facing skills."

Martin Killeen, manager of banking operations at Morgan McKinley, agrees: "There has been a move away from 'doers' to 'thinkers' who have the ability to question and change processes. As a result, individuals are now actually choosing to forge careers within banking operations, whereas five years ago this would rarely have happened. Then it was seen as a starting point and a steppingstone to get into other parts of an investment bank.

"Hiring volumes within banking operations have been high, and this level of recruitment is expected to continue throughout 2006. For example, current opportunities exist within trade support, client valuations, collateral management and settlements, particularly at the mid-market level. There has also been a marked increase in business analyst, project- and change-management roles, which has led to a strong demand for people with solid business analyst skills. …

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