Finance/CFOPeopleMoves – SellSideQ3 2012 – Q1 2013 Observations The first half of 2012 was marked by continued uncertainty in the Eurozone, a slowdown in China and other ‘rapid growth markets’ and negative sentiment across the banking industry. Fast forward 9 months and as we move into Q2 2013 prospects seem to be better but not great. Underpinning this is a cautious optimism that the global economy is showing initial signs of improving, causing many banking executives to predict modest improvements in revenues for the rest of the year. Most of the major banking groups improved their core profits in 2012, although in the case of the UK listed banks these profits were eaten up by fines and exceptional items leaving them down on 2011. This improved situation has been assisted by a clear directive from the European Central Bank that they will do “whatever it takes” to save the Euro and also by Central Banks in the US, Japan and the UK providing further rounds of quantitative easing. Restructuring within all the major banks will carry on for the foreseeable future and will continue to be driven by three core areas; efficiency, regulation and reputation. Very few people now disagree that post-crisis regulatory reforms will fundamentally reshape the banking industry but many rules remain unwritten and the timetable for adherence is unclear. Due to this, many banking executives view regulatory and legislative pressures as the greatest barrier to growth in 2013 (KPMG – Banking Industry Survey). The drive across the industry to improve efficiency and reduce costs means that there will continue to be a reduction in overall headcount across all the major banking groups. This ongoing trend resulted in a fresh round of redundancies at the beginning of this year. In finance departments there continues to be a drive to near-shore and off-shore more junior ‘production teams’ and bulk up central finance functions that support multiple business lines. Levels of attrition remain below historical levels and when senior opportunities do become available banks are looking closely at internal options before considering recruiting externally. This said, there is activity in a number of key areas driven by the regulatory changes including treasury, regulatory reporting and audit. Buy side firms are also actively targeting strong sell-side candidates for senior finance roles. Your industry. Our focus.