Want to recruit top Investment Operations professionals in Scotland? – it’s not just about the salary

The year was 2006.  Scotland’s Fund Management Houses were outsourcing their Operations to allow them to focus on growth.  Big name Service Providers came to the market with a thirst for talented Investment Operations professionals.  Fund Houses sought the “best of the best” to carry out oversight of their new business partners.  Whilst large scale market changes rarely go smoothly, my dim and distant memory reminds me that what key Investment Operations personnel begged for was a decent Work/Life Balance during an incredibly hectic time.


Journey with me to 2009, deep within the financial crisis, and the key message from the same group was clear – Job Security was the key. This didn’t last long. 365 days’ pass and Scotland became a key strategic centre for Operations for several large global organisations and Scotland’s Investment Operations superstars wanted to realise their revived value and a Better Salary was top of everyone’s job seeking considerations.


Enough of memory lane. Today it’s fair to say we are in a very different market.  Scotland has clearly had no net gain in Investment Operations (Asset Servicing) roles since 2010, with offshoring and technological efficiencies meaning headcount has remained steadied.


However, Alba is now a location capable of first class oversight activities and a destination for highly technical tasks carried out by a highly skilled workforce, offering a superior service to the market, instead of battling to compete on cost with the likes of Poland, India etc.


With some 45 years’ collective experience in recruiting for Investment Operations in Scotland, our team at Meraki Talent thought it would be interesting to share with you the top three considerations of Investment Operations professionals we have met over the past 12 months. One general caveat, though. Far too many interviews focus purely on the technical and competency side of things.  If you genuinely wish to attract the top candidates, it’s vital that you discuss the wider role available to the candidate.


Meraki Talent’s three point plan to recruiting Investment Operations superstars is as follows:


Offer variety within the role

Too many roles have become highly functionalised and exception-based leaving candidates yearning for variety.   Top performers wish to have multi-dimensional post, playing a role in a variety of projects and interacting with stakeholders.  Highlight initiatives and projects within your business and the key role they could play.


Progression opportunities

Candidates no longer consider themselves to be “the back office”.  They want to contribute to broader organisational goals and to have either the opportunity to move into management or diversify into other areas of the business.  When interviewing, highlight previous internal promotions and your plans for growth.  Ask the question – do you see yourself as a future leader?  Outline how you nurture the next generation of leaders in your business


Job Security

Understandably with many roles being offshored in recent years, candidates will want some reassurance at interview that your vacancy and department has longevity.  Explain the evolution of your team, the role it plays in the business and how it will contribute to both the present and future organisational goals.


We hope you found this helpful.  There are, of course, many more tips and hints we can give you to ensure you secure the very best Investment Operations talent.


If you want to hear more, contact Andrew on 0131 297 2702.