A Q&A with Altus Search’s Inan Rashid
Since the pandemic began, the financial services sector has had to adapt in order to survive – and this is no different when it comes to front office recruitment. Speaking to GlobalData’s Sarah Williams, managing director of Altus Search, Inan Rashid, discusses the company’s mission and how the industry is fairing post-Covid.
Altus Search is a niche consultancy, focusing on recruitment in the UK and continental Europe. The group prides itself on offering advice and solutions catered towards candidate careers and client recruitment needs.
What are some of the creative solutions you have seen from the industry?
I think banking is moving towards creativity that you always see with IT companies that are so innovative, but at present a lot of banks have put their recruitment on hold because they are trying to reorganise a rolling model of staff coming into the office as well as travel restriction for some of their relationship managers to see clients.
Most are generally working at a 20-30% in the office model. I think this is going to have a bit of a knock-on effect. In the UK, there has definitely been a downturn. Although, I still see a lot of activity in Europe in places like Luxembourg and Switzerland. They seem to be moving their hiring on from that perspective, but the UK has stalled.
When looking at redundancies, I think there has been a measure of resilience in Europe. Countries like Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have continued to hire throughout this situation, but most of these banks are always going to be responsive to global economies. In terms of private banking, it really depends on ultra-high net worth / high net worth clients and whether they feel comfortable with the way their assets are being managed or preferring to be a bit more adventurous.
So, I think there will still be activity but there will be a shift in what will be the focus of private banks.
From a geographical perspective, I think the UK will continue be on hold for a while as the government considers some form of economic stimulus. Not to mention, we have Brexit down the road as well. Ultimately, we will have to see how governments react and what kind of economic stimulus they are looking to put in place.
However, some companies have organised themselves during this pandemic far better than others, so I can see them continuing to out-perform post Covid. It also depends on which countries and economies companies are dependent on - which will correlate to banks doing well too.
I would say in terms of our activity, we are more active on the continent of Europe at the moment than we are in the UK and in private banking, we see continuing trends looking at moving towards emerging markets.
What are your predictions for the new year?
Currently, I’ve witnessed definite slowdown in certain countries. The implications of this from a private banking perspective has been a redirected push to explore business development opportunities in certain emerging markets with view to on-boarding new clients and assets.
However, following the widely publicised success of the recent Pfizer Covid 19 vaccine trial – with expectations for other further successful trials to be announced near-term – the success of this has been seen by Economists as a game changer for recovery. Economists are now upgrading growth expectations for coming years, indicating sooner than expected return to normal for economies globally.