2018 IT Recruitment Newsletter for Finance, Prop Trading & Funds Management clients

Hey guys and welcome to the 2018 addition of our Kapital IT Recruitment newsletter for Prop Trading and Funds Management clients. In this issue we will talk about the number of clients we service in each space, market movements, placements, what we seeing with salaries and also what we expecting for 2019.

Quick Market Summary across Financial Services

The financial services industry, right across the board in retail banking, superannuation and parts of insurance, continue to get hit very hard with the Royal Commission and as such the majority of hiring has been for Risk and Compliance and very specialist technologists to work on systems which can help with regulation and reporting around the issues they are facing. We see this continuing for at least the next 3-6 months

Tech and FinTech Start-ups have grown substantially over the last 12 months with a number of new entrants into the market. The big focus for the newcomers is around open source and cheap technology which can be leveraged across their platforms. For more established props, there seems to be more of a bullish push across DevOps and Automation to synchronize there trading activity

There are also a number of Financial Services clients across the board who are embarking on BigData Delivery and Greenfield Data Analytics builds to commercialize large data sets and leverage legacy system builds

So lets start with our Prop Trading clients. Kapital is on the panel for 5 Prop Trading clients across Australia and 1 in Hong Kong. We are also working with 2 new prop trading start-ups (one in Sydney and another in Melbourne) over the last couple of months who are seeing tremendous growth and solid backing. The prop trading space as always is about speed to market, efficiency and ease of market access. This year we have noticed a huge increase in the demand from prop trading clients looking for DevOps, Automation and Data Analytics / Visualization skillsets. The usual Network, Infra and Development positions are still being sourced as teams grow and 2 of our clients have moved offices this year to new upmarket and funky locations. There has also been a number of clients opening up new trading desks to target Asian exchanges with a lesser focus on the US and EU for now.

In terms of prop trading placements, Kapital has placed : 

  • Snr Exchange Connectivity/Market Links Engineer
  • Trading systems Apps support
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Desktop support
  • Python software engineer
  • Project Manager
  • C++ Developer
  • Tech support specialist (Network and Infra)
  • FPGA/VHDL/C++ Dev

Prop Trading salaries and threats

We are seeing Prop market salaries lift across most prop trading clients of ours in Australia. This is as a result of a number of job being turned down for tech start-up job offers in the market and high day rate contracts with banks working on Royal commission tech initiatives. The number of tech and FinTech start-ups across Australia has grown tremendously and has had an unprecedented effect on hires across not just prop trading but other industries too. We are seeing VC incubators moving start-ups from angel funding to Series A funding and now many start-ups who were assisted by the likes of stone and chalk or blue chilli are hitting the market in high volumes with financial backing. Start-ups are paying decent salaries with share options on top for the right skillsets. The market still has to be educated on the potentially high bonuses which prop trading clients have to offer. The length of the interview process is also proving to be a bit of a hurdle. All props are wanting top end candidates and therefore give them a lengthy tech interview process, start-ups on the other hand are only initiating 1-2 tech assessments then making a decision pretty quickly which is also a threat for props.

What we are seeing for 2019

There will be more hiring of similar skills but we feel the Automation and Data Analytics space will take off next year across many props. We will continue to face similar issues with start-up competitors and agencies on your panels need to ensure they are communicating the prop offering to potential hires better than ever

Moving onto Funds / Investment Management clients. Kapital is on the panel of 6 clients across Funds/Investment Management in Australia and also working closely with 2 others. This industry has seen a huge uplift of both temp-2-perm, converting contractors and also hiring of Data Analytics SMEs. There’s been a lot of new acquisitions of customers on-boarding and transitioning funds which is creating and cultivating a market of buoyancy which we see continuing through 2019. Funds and investment management along with many other industries are seeing a hike and review of their data Analytics platforms and how they can assist sales distribution teams on the road in front of customers with the use of Tableau, PowerBI, Snowplow or Alteryx tools which is exciting times ahead for funds management. We have also seen a number of tech initiatives across the funds industry in Australia from new Fund/OMS system builds, Reporting initiatives and new CRM system builds. None of our clients have moved locations this year and have all been hiring on a decent level across all technical disciplines.

In terms of Funds/Investment Management placements, Kapital has placed :

  • Program Manager
  • Technology Project Manager
  • Test Manager
  • Lead Tech BA
  • 3 x Tech BA’s
  • Front Office Equities Tech BA
  • 2 x Data Analytics SMEs
  • Change Manager
  • C#.Net Developer
  • Desktop Support

Salaries and threats

Salaries have been pretty consistent with no real rise other than Data Analytics and Visualisation SMEs (probably the 2nd highest pay to a head of tech across all industries). We tend to find candidates across funds have a genuine interest in funds and investment management and although we had a couple of offers being countered, we are seeing that generally candidates are loyal to staying within this space as the industry fund systems and exposure to full life cycle trade processes keeps it interesting. We are seeing a lot of new projects and initiatives starting up across our client base ranging from fund onboarding, analytics and CRM.

What we are seeing for 2019

The industry is showing no real sign of softening with regards to projects and hiring for 2019. We foresee more clients will come onboard the Data Analytics and Visualisation path and salaries in this space will continue to rise.

We hope you have received some useful information and if there is any other information you wish to see either now or in our next issue, please let us know.

Also check out our other startup newsletter here and remember to follow us on Kapital Consulting

Till next time.

2018 IT Recruitment Newsletter for startups

Welcome back and we hope your 2018 year finished with a bang and that you have set yourselves up for 2019 success. One of the key elements for a successful startup, regardless of industry, is to make sure you have a unique value proposition and that you have a product or service which is truly fixing a need, gap in the market or an inherent business pain, something that is broken or in need of bettering or automating to make more efficient.

Some of the best and most interesting times in the life of a startup, although time consuming but really fun, is pitching for business which can take the form of getting in front of new potential customers but also in front of active VC and PE firms looking to invest in seeded funding.

So to that end make sure you have thought really carefully about your target audience and ensure you have a TAM (Total Addressable Market) of at least $20bn as VCs and Private Equity firms will be looking for 5×5 ratios which means 5% in a $20bn TAM would see their return on investment become $1bn which is the unicorn they all after and will make your proposition more appealing to them.

Your industries regulation is also a very important factor to think about. A prime example is FinTechs in the current climate of the royal commission where banks and financial institutions are getting heavy penalties levied against them and possibly not being trusted as much as they have in the past. I am not talking about what the current regulation is in your industry for 2018/2019 but what it could possibly look like for startups, FinTechs and online banks 5 or 10yrs from now. You do not want to be setting up a FinTech without thinking about this as there could be an equivalent Royal Commission of sorts for online banks and FinTechs 10yrs from now and I know this is tough to gauge but as a business startup director/owner you need to think about the possibilities of what this may look like and safe guard yourself and your business.

From a recruitment viewpoint, pre-Series A funding means you are probably like most, building an MVP (minimum viable product or Service) on a shoestring of a budget. It probably means too that you are just ensuring your website and portals are ready for external customers and clients to use and therefore hiring full stack web  developers. With Sydney and Melbourne now becoming the new silicon valley with companies like Atlassian, Campaign Monitor, Canva and many others getting in the Australian limelight on a global stage, sticking out is becoming more and more difficult. Sourcing the right candidates into your business will make a remarkable difference in the long run so use a recruitment firm who is flexible and not set in the traditional ways of how the recruitment industry works. You may not want to pay fees of any kind however we have witnessed how hiring the wrong talent at such an early stage can be detrimental in the long run to a startup.

Startups should look at as much media exposure as they can, VC and PE firms look at this closely when doing due diligence and using analytics tools to validate potential investment opportunities and are keen on companies with an already well placed media presence – check out


We are always keen to hear from startups so if you looking for further information, need recruitment advice or looking for further market information, please give us a call. Till next time!

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