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Alternative investments and commercial banking seek marketers


The British banking sector may have endured a difficult few years in the glare of the spotlight, facing criticism over mis-selling of complex insurance products, bad financial management and lack of accountability among top executives.

However, the last 12 months has seen the industry begin to dust itself off and recover, with signs that growth and expansion are on the cards for 2014 as the macro-economic outlook begins to improve both nationally and internationally.

This is likely to have a major knock-on effect on the marketing sector, both in traditional and digital forms - during the crash, these teams tended to be given little attention by cash-strapped or under-pressure financial services firms, but they are now looking to bring in new staff to update their consumer engagement policies.

According to TheCityUK, a business advocacy group for the London financial services hub, employment in the financial services sector in the capital jumped by two per cent in 2013 to reach its pre-crisis peak of around 688,000, marking a third consecutive year of growth.

In the south-east, which has enjoyed the sharpest resurgence of any region, two particular areas are proving fruitful for marketers in search of a new role. These are alternative investments (AI) and commercial banking.

Within the AI space, there is a major demand for marketing and investor relations expertise, particularly as the sector gains a higher profile and rakes in an increasing amount of business.

Data supplied by Octopus from professors Elroy Dimson and Paul Marsh of the London Business School recently found the FTSE AIM as a whole made 21.3 per cent last year as the resources stocks on the index lost 16.4 per cent, reports Trustnet.

This boom will continue in 2014 as investors look to move into new areas, meaning the sector needs to bring in the right kind of staff to ensure it can manage this increase in trade.

As for commercial banking, there is a growing need for more product marketers, with even the most prestigious UK firms attempting to innovate and offer engaging new services as there is more confidence in the market.  Lending to businesses has increased as well as the demand for transaction banking products, from payments to cash management.

In both sectors, quite a specific skill-set will be needed, with salaries likely to be high to reflect this. With many companies competing for similar candidates, competition could drive wages up even higher.

So how can firms gain a march on their rivals when it comes to securing the best possible talent? In both commercial banking and AI, bringing in a specialist recruiter can be a good move - they will have an active network in this space and maintain an up-to-date contact list that can get things moving quickly.

Organisations also need to be sure to benchmark their roles at the right level, because candidates will be scarce and therefore able to negotiate their position effectively.

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