More choice in the city than ever before

New research from Robert Half Financial Services reveals 88% of financial services executives believe there are more varied career paths available compared to five years ago

  • The majority (88%) of financial services executives believe there are more varied career paths available compared to five years ago
  • Increased reliance on technology to do business is the main reason for this change (48%) and FinTech plays a major role (31%)
  • The dramatic growth of peer-to-peer lenders, challenger banks and new breed of online wealth managers offers new employment opportunities

London, 23 September 2015 – New research1 from Robert Half Financial Services, the leading recruitment specialist, reveals that the vast majority (88%) of financial services executives believe that there is a greater variety of career options available for finance professionals, compared to this period five years ago. The dramatic growth of peer-to-peer lenders, challenger banks and a new breed of disruptive online wealth managers offer new employment opportunities for financial services professionals.

The variety of career choices is predominantly down to an increased reliance on technology to do business (48%) and as the finance function digitalises, candidates who can demonstrate technology and software skills are finding themselves in demand.  In the wealth management space the rise of mobile trading2 is disrupting traditional models, creating new opportunities for challenger companies that can offer alternate career paths in what has been regarded as a traditional sector dominated by the big investment banks and advisory groups.   

With the supply of top candidates continuing to tighten, 42% of executives believe the increase in non-traditional career paths is down to the more competitive landscape. With compliance and regulation firmly at the top of the agenda for financial services firms, opportunities for peer-to-peer leaders and challengers banks to grow market share is creating a more competitive landscape as businesses vie to attract top performers.  There is also a trend for companies that traditionally do not operate within the financial arena getting more involved with financial services, and 39% of directors believe this has opened up the doors for more candidates. 

A fifth of respondents (20%) stated that it was their desire to work for smaller organisations that has triggered more interest in a non-traditional career path, which is perhaps testament to the rise of start-ups in the FinTech industry. Indeed, the increased reliance on digital offerings and services in recent years was cited by almost a third (31%) of respondents as to why there are now more career paths open to finance professionals.

Neil Owen, Director, Robert Half Financial Services commented: “There is now more than one route to the top as technology has enabled new companies to challenge the established players in many sectors of the financial services industry. The financial services landscape is evolving and candidates are the in the driving seat of their careers. We are seeing top performers receiving multiple offers and firms are offering substantial salary rises to attract specialist candidates.

“Companies have to compete for the top performers who are needed to build or transform their businesses. With an ever-growing competitive landscape and the war for talent showing no signs of slowing down, providing a competitive salary, excellent benefits, frequent recognition and clear career paths is a crucial employment strategy.”

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Notes to editors

1 The annual study was developed by Robert Half UK and is conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 100 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location. 


About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500. We have once again been named to FORTUNE’s “World’s Most Admired Companies®” list and remains the top-ranked staffing firm (February 2020). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, legal and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and jobseeker resources at and