Wealth management is enjoying a jobs boom in Scotland, with a number of UK-wide firms setting up hubs in Scotland with experts predicting that more will follow suit.
The move was predicted in the sixth Annual Salary Guide by Core-Asset Consulting, an influential review of Scotland’s financial services sector.
The review said a confluence of factors have been persuading major players to set up distinct Scottish hubs, sparking a “domino effect” sector revival.
Jack Anderson, a consultant specialising in wealth management at Core-Asset, has witnessed his predictions for the private wealth industry playing out.
Anderson said: “With hybrid or remote working now a permanent or semi-permanent fixture of many wealth management firms and the possibility of a Scottish Independence referendum pending, a number of (UK) national firms have been establishing offices north of the border.
“Heavy hitters such as Blackrock and Coutts have opened offices in Edinburgh for 2021 and global investment firm Abrdn is committing to Scotland too.
“These large firms moving north sets a precedent for others within the industry, who we are predicting may soon follow suit.
“… hubs offer the ability to service local Scottish clients at source, and from a health and wellbeing perspective also offer the opportunity for employees who are perhaps based in London, or in cities elsewhere, to relocate to more rural and less densely populated areas.”
The pandemic had a profound impact on wealth management firms with many cutting back on staff numbers – particularly in the first half of 2020 as asset management and new business slowed during the first government lockdown.
Anderson added: “These decisions to reduce headcount did have a destabilising effect on the sector overall and led to an increased pool of immediately available candidates.
“However, at the beginning of 2021 there was a definite shift that saw demand for experienced investment managers and financial planners who could bring a book of clients with them.
“Enticing and attracting these individuals to move companies is a complex and challenging task that requires detailed negotiations on both sides.
”Especially in the current candidate buoyant market, having a regional office, out with London is one of the ways employers can tempt the best talent in the sector as it offers flexibility for potential employees.
“Previously, many felt that to be a successful fund manager you had to stay in the South East, because that’s where the majority of big firms were.
“However, with the technology and flexible working espoused from the pandemic, this is now beginning to change.
“The pandemic has shown that it is plausible that successful fund managers are able to continue their career while moving out of the hustle and bustle and expense of London.”