Scottish fund manager Martin Currie's appointment of Brendan Bryce as global head of advisory compliance reveals a rare thing in the financial services industry north of the border these days – a quietly booming sector.
Bryce joins the risk and compliance team of Martin Currie from PricewaterhouseCoopers, after what we understand to be a long search for the role – sources tell us it's been looking for two years.
We understand that Aegon, Standard Life and Tesco Personal Finance have also been active recruiters in the risk and compliance space.
Mike Leeman, senior consultant financial services at recruiters Bright Purple
, says the increasingly heavy handed approach by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), combined with more regulatory requirements, means a surge in demand for risk, compliance and regulation professionals.
"It’s a big area of focus, and fund managers, banks and professional services firms are all looking to hire," he says. "There's still a fairly small pool of talent in Scotland, so the search often extends to London, or attempting to lure Scots back north of the border."
Sadly, this has yet to transfer to salaries. Most firms are sticking with rates at around £30-40k at the lower level and £80-100k for head of functions, says Leeman.
Richard Fletcher, director of headhunters Fletcher Jones, says it's also buoyant at the senior end.
"Clearly, more importance has been placed on this recently within both fund management firms and banks," he says. "We're seeing a combination of external recruitment and internal re-shuffling, and it remains a relatively scarce skill-set in Scotland."