Recruitment Readiness: Fund and Asset Managers Expanding their Footprint with Intelligent Data

There is no shortage of articles published relating to AI and Big Data and much of that is predicated on the idea that AI will replace the jobs of many professionals (recruiters seem to have a target on their back here too).  It does seem a fully viable and end to end AI solution is far away.  Fund and asset managers are however looking to ways that intelligent use of Data and Analytics can add value to the business, empowering firms to better deploy their resources.

Applications of data and decision science has been a feature of many fund and asset managers for building quantitative investment and risk models and the scope of its application is now changing beyond these departments.  A growing number of firms have sought to invest in their data teams, working to enhance the capability of distribution teams by applying data science and advanced analytics to their distribution models.  This has seen organizations shift to a more targeted engagement model for working with clients and coordinating sales visits.  This has freed up much of the sales force to engage with higher priority and often more profitable opportunities.

Implementing Data

After seeing real results from implementing data driven changes, demand for data skilled talent is growing along with its adoption.  To roll out any such changes, companies need to review and enhance their Data Architecture, Data Governance and Data Quality Management processes.  The last 12 months has seen considerable growth in opportunities and wages for Data Architects, Data Scientists, Data Engineers, Data Governance Managers as well as project services candidates with strong data migration and management backgrounds.

Beyond the distribution teams, data is being used to make enhancements to middle and back office operations, allowing some of our clients to reduce costs through the increased process automation, better administration efficiency and automated systems for monitoring of crime and trade surveillance.  Accessing data and information has elevated in importance, as many legacy products do not provide the required capability to do advanced modelling.

Migration to new systems such as BlackRock’s Aladdin platform or SimCorp Dimension has been a feature over the last 12 months, with a number of other firms looking to make the transition over the next due to the better access to data and information. For a clearer indication on how we see the market salaries for Data skills, Data Science, Business Analysts, please contact

Market salaries

Overall, the market is offering rates for candidates with certain skills in systems or product knowledge.  Programs such as the CHESS Replacement program have attracted many Project Services BA’s and PM’s with knowledge of the equities trade life cycle.  Systems migrations to Aladdin or Dimension have provided attractive rates for BA’s and PM’s with legacy or incumbent platform knowledge.

Beyond this area we are also seeing investment going into Data Product Creation, with firms looking to make the most of incoming data or historical data.  Organizations with large amounts of unpublished data such as Stock Exchanges are rolling out data platforms known as a “Data Sandbox” allowing organizations to capture value in big data, and providing the opportunities for other organizations to run proprietary data into platforms to gather further insights.

All things considered, Fund and Asset Managers are ready to embark on the next stage of their journeys, with Data Driven changes enabling firms to realise efficiencies, savings and growing revenue, demand for data driven talent with knowledge of the buy side industry still valuable, however, relevant market knowledge may not be as mandatory to some other areas of the business such as sales, marketing and distribution.

For more information on current market and trends, please reach out to or follow Shane on LinkedIn at

3 strategies Investment and Funds Management firms should adopt in 2020:

As an Australian Investment or Funds Management firm, you will know that the market is tough, competition is rife and commissions are getting squeezed. So how do you differentiate yourselves against your competition?

As one of the leading Fintech recruitment firms in Australia, we have seen what our clients have and have not been doing, relative to their competitors. So let us break down the 3 strategies we think you should adopt for 2020.


What Technologies are you currently using and are they fit for purpose in this vastly changing technology landscape? What Systems and tech stacks are you looking at? What is the market demand and supply for such skills and technologies and also what are the costs for on-prem vs SaaS or DaaS solutions for investment managers?

We are seeing a huge demand for Data Analytics professionals with Tableau, PowerBI or Alteryx to get raw data and provide insights across various demographics and market shifts.

Market demand is vastly growing for Machine Learning/AI and Data Science tools across the investment management industry. These skills are brought in-house to help portfolio managers and traders make better and more educated decisions through the use of text mining and social media scraping to validate and substantiate findings and insights.

There is also an increased demand within our buy-side clients for Data and Quant Programmers/Analyst Programmers who are experienced with R, Python and Matlab but who also have an accounting or an applied finance degree.

In terms of systems, are you still running Excel/VBA Spreadsheets? There are many diverse platforms on the market which can help you scale through the use of investment systems. These could be Charles River, Blackrock Aladdin, MarkitEDM / Cadis, Thinkfolio, SimCorp Dimension and are you utilising it for Front, Middle or Back Office functionality or all 3? Some of these systems can be quite costly and selecting the best one for your company, 5-10yrs from now rather than at this present time, is vastly important and I’ll summarise why;

In the financial services sector, Australia has slowly moved away from heavy sell-side activity and there is less happening locally with investment banks compared to 10 years ago. I remember being inundated with technology jobs for major global banks such as Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, but less so since 2012.

If anything, many of the large global investment banks are streamlining their Australian operations and moving them to regional hubs such as Singapore or Hong Kong or back to head office in Europe or the States. Australia is increasingly becoming more tailored towards our traditional buy-side safe havens being Superannuation, Wealth, Annuities, Funds, Investments and Custodian businesses.

This brings about an increase in large technology transformations, M&A and divestment activity which we are working on for our clients and which will continue. Thus, to be positioned well for such programs for your potential clients, ensure you have systems fit for purpose long term.

2.You need to adopt a core SAR Strategy

I’m not talking about your Stop and Reverse Trading strategies, actually something vastly different. I am referring to:

Selection – what are all the Omnichannels available for you to engage with possible candidates to join your organisation? How have you selected your go-to-market strategy for this? Which recruitment firms are you partnering with? What channels are you missing out on?
Attraction – Do you have a reputable brand in the market? Is there a positive word of mouth out in the market surrounding your brand? Are you using the right recruitment firms who a) understand your market and b) are well placed to attract the right candidates into your recruitment funnel to open up meaningful discussions? Then once you have the candidates, how are you going to attract them to your organisation rather than a competitors during the interview process?
Retain – Now you have a great hire in place, what are you doing to keep them happy and challenged within your organisation? What new technologies are you adopting? What makes them want to stay in your firm rather than popping their heads up to see what else is out there?

3.Do what is right for your company

Yes it is important to have a handle on what systems your competitors are using but make sure you are selecting the right systems, technology and hiring the right personnel which are fit for your business and not just because your competitors are doing so. If you do that you will be following the path which the industry takes and not setting the course for the industry’s future.

As a niche Fintech recruitment firm, we have been helping numerous Funds, Asset and Investment firms across Australia with all levels of tech hires. We can help you select and attract top talent and look at avenues or retaining those hires.

If you’d like to find out more reach out to us, we are more than willing to assist where we can at

I hope this has been useful.

Sean Turner – Founder and Director, Kapital Consulting

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