5 finance skillsets to watch in 2020
07/10/2019 by MRL
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An industry once driven by a bricks-and-mortar mindset, the world of finance is in a state of flux. Driven by digitisation and shifts in demographic, the finance ecosystem is evolving to enhance efficiency, speed, convenience and certainty for the consumer.
Characterised by constant change, 2019 saw the competitive environment supercharged by an influx of tech start-ups, disruptive business models and the consolidation of smaller banks. In 2020, these megatrends will continue to rock the finance landscape, influencing the strategies of key players and giving way to a myriad of new roles in these fast-emerging areas:
Robotic process automation continues to grow in popularity in the finance market, allowing businesses the ability to manage peak workloads with accuracy and efficiency. With RPA software tackling routine work by automating processes on top of existing systems, teams are able to focus on the strategic, high-value work. As this technology continues to redefine the industry, firms will recruit for business support analysts to spearhead the implementation of RPA. Candidates with experience as a solution architect for UI Path implementations in financial services will undoubtedly be the most desirable, bringing an aptitude to process design and the all-important product knowledge that allows them to hit the ground running.
In a recent report, McKinsey shed light on the use of analytics in the banking industry to maximize business performance. Yet, many have found the huge potential of big data difficult to exploit due to its vast and decentralised nature. In an effort to properly collect and utilise this asset, financial institutions are turning to data warehouses to standardise the way they gather data, improve decision making and seize the competitive advantage. Data warehousing is a technology that pulls data from a multitude of sources and places them in a central repository; it’s a solution that has seen firms take to the talent pool in search for experts in business intelligence who boast a strong background in leading the creation of Data Warehouse Design projects or using SQL Server Integration Services.
The evolution of the financial markets in line with technological advances has seen firms in this dynamic sector increasingly adopting mathematical and statistical models to cope with fast-moving market-changes and the risks involved. Models are now used in a range of contexts such as estimating customer response, measuring capital, assessing the value of collateral and forecasting economic events. When issues arise in the design, implementation or use of a model, companies can be exposed to significant losses. Avoiding such risk has seen key players in the financial services sector recruiting candidates from quantitative backgrounds in droves. Risk officers are seeing a spike in demand for their skills in building, monitoring and validating robust model risk management frameworks to promote a strong risk culture.
Already, evolution of the banking sector brought on by the rise of digital technology has seen the talent needs of organisations shift considerably. According to a recent study, 62 per cent of senior leaders in the banking industry believe there is a persistent digital talent shortage, and that the gap between the demand of qualified finance professionals with digital expertise and the supply of such candidates has widened in recent years. They aren’t wrong. As the needs of banks evolve to ensure their competitive edge is not lost to the rise of tech start-ups, the focus of hiring managers in this sector will continue to focus on finding individuals who bring proficiency with data, digital technology and software engineering. As organisations strive to be agile in their operations, we can expect the demand for this type of talent to be sector-wide.
The use of sophisticated technologies to create quantitative investment strategies is growing in the financial services sector, be it for pension funds, retail investors and insurance companies. In 2020, firms seeking to take advantage of this technology to create quantitative investment strategies and implement statistical models will be on the lookout for specialists in quantitative research analysis and portfolio management analysis. Candidates combining a highly mathematical background with a knowledge of financial products will be the focus of investment banks as they seek the talent necessary to capitalise on quantitative models to predict movements in the value of a security, currency or related index.