Compliance Analysts Influencing Hiring Demands in Guernsey’s Finance and Fintech Sectors
Businesses in Guernsey operating in highly regulated financial service industries have been faced with some major challenges throughout 2018 when it comes to changing compliance regulations. With new laws constantly coming into place, not just in Guernsey but across the globe, financial services, compliance and technology are becoming more aligned and must work hand in hand. In an age of digital transformation where businesses are compelled to demonstrate openness towards change and innovation, risk and compliance must always remain a top priority.
Compliance changing the shape of finance and fintech sectors
Before its implementation on 25th May 2018, GDPR was a hot talking point as the subject of compliance caused concern and anticipation for many local and international businesses. As a result of the regulation, the already high demand for suitably qualified and experienced compliance and risk analysts grew even further. Our clients need for additional professionally qualified compliance specialists in financial services continues and remains as high a priority as it was before – particularly at the mid to senior levels – this demand looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
With a competitive employment environment across many established financial service sectors, Guernsey offers countless opportunities for high-quality professionals seeking to develop their careers in compliance and risk positions. Amid increasingly strict regulations, businesses in Guernsey operating in the financial services and fintech sectors remain on the lookout for qualified compliance specialists with proven experience and familiarity with regulations. Banks, fund and trust companies in particular require specialists with sector-specific knowledge. Due to such a high demand, candidates with these skills are being attracted from outside the island.
AP Group, encompassing AP Executive, AP Technical and AP Personnel are well positioned to find candidates from the outside the island, being the only truly global recruitment firm in the Channel Islands, we deal in more than 55 Jurisdictions.
When looking for staff or if you are a job seeker looking for a new opportunity, why not speak to one of our experienced advisors today on 715757.
The AP Group Guernsey office was the first office to open in 1990. As well as AP Personnel it now operates two other divisions offering recruitment consultancy. AP Technical specialises in IT, Multi Media and Telecoms recruitment from junior to senior management and board level, both locally and internationally. AP Executive, established in 1999, specialises in sourcing local and international candidates for management, board level and executive positions in the financial services and legal sectors.
Original article published in Guernsey Press Business Review on 17.07.2018
The island’s job market is currently flourishing with excellent opportunities in many sectors. Today, Guernsey presents a thriving and successful international business centre with many established economic sectors, including an internationally renowned financial services industry, a robust legal industry and a highly developed corporate and investment banking sector.
Having bounced back positively in the past year from the 2008 financial crisis, the market is particularly buoyant at present and is very well positioned to continue developing and contributing to an already diversified economy.
There are many reasons for this success, including high regulatory standards, high-quality core services and a transparent tax regime. All of this and more demonstrates just how prominent Guernsey currently is for employment, not just locally but on a global scale too.
The fact that many junior staff are now being recruited is an extremely positive sign; however businesses are struggling to recruit high-quality professionals in mid to senior level trust and funds positions, where a minimum of five years’ experience is essential.
This is largely due to relatively few trainees and graduates being hired in recent years, who would by now have progressed to this level of experience. As businesses continue to grow, demand for experienced professionals is now higher than ever – particularly in trust and funds – and there are countless opportunities for qualified individuals looking to secure senior positions and truly develop their careers in an exciting and competitive working environment.
‘AP Executive has been very instrumental in assisting Guernsey clients with the ability to find the right calibre of senior-level staff on the island or from other international centres. Guernsey is now seen by local and international wealth management professionals as the place to work in the current job market. This is a positive sign that the island can develop and compete in its global excellence with quality staff. I believe, AP Executive is the only truly global agency to provide local and international staff in the Channel Islands.’ says Gina Le Prevost, CEO of AP Group.
AP Executive provides recruitment expertise to professionals seeking to develop their careers in Guernsey. Contact us on 01481 715700 or email email@example.com for the latest job market advice.
Original article published in Guernsey Press Business Review on 25.04.2018
The new Population Management Law in Guernsey, which is designed to address the island’s demographic challenges, came into force on 3 April, 2017. The new law replaces the old Housing Control Law which focussed on controlling available housing on the island as a means to cap immigration. The newly introduced legislative measures aim to encourage the right make-up of people to meet the skills shortages as well as other social and fiscal objectives.
Following are some of the key changes:
Everyone living in Guernsey aged 16 and above needs to hold a Certificate or Permit in order to legally live and work here.
A Certificate is issued to someone who is entitled to live and work in Guernsey. Some Certificates will permit the holder to reside in only Open Market accommodation.
A Permit is issued to someone whose residence status in the island is conditional and is based on things like working in a specific job, or living with a specific person.
Introduction of Employer Portal: Employers can now submit applications for Employment Permits via the Employer Portal, which is a free, web-based system provided by the Gov of Guernsey. Online applications will make the process quicker and efficient.
AP Executive will continue to offer valuable advice and guidance to employers and candidates regarding the new population management law.
50s should be considered as the new 40s or even 30s: Gina Le Prevost, CEO AP Executive
With increase in the legal retirement age, people in their 50s should not be discriminated for age in the employment field, according to Gina Le Prevost, founder and CEO of AP Executive.
Gina Le Prevost CEO of AP Executive says: ‘The days of people in their 50s being discriminated because of their age should now be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, a lot of employers still consider people in their 50s to be approaching retirement. Instead, this is no longer the case since the legal retirement age is increasing, and I am sure will soon rise to 70 years plus.”
“People are living longer and most people are starting their first career in their late 20s or even early 30s – therefore on the ‘age barometer’ from 30 years to 70 years, people in their 50s come in the middle of the gauge and no longer at the end.”
This view builds on earlier research that provides evidence for the benefits of older workers. A recent UK Gov report suggests that people up to the age of 70 can be as productive as their younger counterparts and emphasises the importance of a mixed-age workforce. Similarly, research (Network for Studies on Pensions, Ageing and Retirement, 2009) shows people aged 55-64 have “positive” effects on younger staff.
Moreover, according to a recent survey (YouGov survey, UK Gov) retirement pattern is changing, with nearly half of over-50s willing to work between age of 65 and 70.
However, things have not changed much for the over-50s after being rendered redundant since the downturn of 2008. Although age- related discrimination is illegal, experts believe this is highly pervasive in workplace. In fact, this discriminatory attitude has negative effects on the self-esteem and confidence of jobseekers.
Gina says: “Some candidates I speak to in their 50s usually talk themselves down because they have been discriminated for their age for so long that even they now believe they are too old to find work.”
She warns: “This thought process needs to change and some employers need to rethink their hiring process.”
“Often, I have to reassure the candidates in their 50s that they must not fall into the trap just because 50 year olds have been classed in the past as being nearing retirement. They appreciate my positive approach, and it inspires them to realise that actually they do have up to 20 years left in the workplace until retirement – this is a lot of years and a lot can be achieved.”
The increase in retirement age and benefits of more age diverse workforce, calls for “the 50s to be now considered as the new 40s or even 30s”.
AP Executive is a global recruitment consultancy and has 25 years of experience in specialist recruitment.
AP Executive concerned over shortage of experienced trust and fund administrators
While economies across the globe are slowly limping back from the massive credit crunch, the effects of recession, however, are still haunting some sectors such as trusts and funds. A leading recruitment consultancy AP Group has expressed concern over the shortage of experienced administrators in the trust and fund sectors. This shortage is a direct result of the recession that hit the global economy in 2008.
AP Executive and AP Personnel, divisions of AP Group, have many years of experience in recruiting professionals in the wealth management and commercial sectors.
Gina Le Prevost, CEO of AP Executive and AP Personnel, said: "Due to the lack of recruitment in trust and funds industries to employ and invest in junior staff caused by the downturn in 2008, this has now caused a shortage of experienced administrators. Since early 2015, we are noticing a recruitment upturn in the Channel Islands and other global locations which specialise in trust and fund professionals. However, companies specialising in these popular sectors are now struggling to find candidates qualified with the important 3 to 5 years' level of experience."
This is one such area where the global economic crisis has had a lingering effect. To cap the costs, most organisations, during the economic crisis, abstained from recruiting graduates and junior to mid-level administrators. This in turn has made it difficult for employers to find suitable candidates with the requisite level of skills and knowledge base. Had there been recruitment of junior staff since 2008, they would now be qualified to take on the role of experienced administrators – which are in high demand at the moment.
The current 3 to 5 years experience requirement means the candidates should normally also hold the professional qualifications like STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) and/or ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators).
It takes up to three years to complete these types of qualifications. To fill this acute shortage, employers may have to consider candidates who do not hold work permit or local qualifications for these jobs but meet the required professional qualification and length of experience criteria.
Gina Le Prevost continued: "Companies need support by the Guernsey and Jersey respective authorities to be able to employ non- locally qualified candidates if necessary, and strict work permits policies, which have been in place for so long now, should be more relaxed."
She concluded: "Without companies being given more leeway with bringing in non-locals and if the numbers of jobs in specialist areas continue to increase in the islands, it is inevitable that salaries will need to rise in these industries. In fact, job seekers moving to the islands because of work offers would also improve the Guernsey and Jersey sluggish housing markets, which both islands are currently experiencing." However, for employees it is an encouraging trend as the job market is becoming more buoyant particularly in wealth management industries.
She said: "We are now in an ‘employees’ job market which is going to become a ‘fast track in gaining experience and professional qualifications’ for job seekers looking to get into funds and trust."
The recession that spawned from the financial crisis of 2008 was quite severe and the effects were felt in every corner of the globe. Even China, which still has a strong export market for consumer and electrical goods, suffered a 'growth recession' because of the domino effect on international trading and nations' restricted finances.
Guernsey has had an established financial and legal presence for over 40 years and whilst the recession did stunt growth somewhat, it is beginning to resurrect. The legal profession has been the least affected. Guernsey is now considered as one of the most modern in terms of its legislation and regulation, which has made it an attractive proposal for new businesses. Due to these legislations, regulations and new businesses such as boutique fund administrators; the legal field is continuing to develop and there has been an influx of newly qualified professionals from commonwealth nations that are establishing themselves in the legal and financial fields. Whilst the banking sector has stagnated on a global scale, Guernsey's appears to be making a resurgence, much more so than other countries in the European region.
AP Group was founded in Guernsey over 21 years ago and we have since established a formidable reputation both inside and outside the Channel Islands. It gave us the foundations for our worldwide expansion and many other businesses are beginning to establish themselves in Guernsey after realising the economic potential of the island. With a new demand for legal jobs, AP Executive is providing many opportunities for junior and senior associates to establish themselves in some of the largest finance and legal businesses in the Channel Islands. Working with these major clients will give successful applicants the top-level experience they need to ignite their careers. Our recruitment team is extremely knowledgeable and considered as one of the top off-shore legal recruitment firms. We offer a fantastic range of roles such as lawyers, accountants, investment bankers and finance specialists for newly qualified professionals and more senior executives.
We present the best option for legal professionals who are looking to separate themselves from the restraints of their current job, and find a career path which will continue to challenge them and ultimately lead to success. Our Guernsey operation delivers excellent guidance and mentorship for people who are looking to define their career path, with goal orientated development and the potential to move into established senior roles and even roles abroad. Moving into a new working environment can be crucial for career development, and it will exemplify your ability to adapt and succeed in different surroundings.
Outside of working life, Guernsey offers a fantastic summer climate and gorgeous rural scenery, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Furthermore, you are only a short distance from France, perfect for a brief holiday in the summer or skiing in the winter. Guernsey has a universal tax rate which matches the UK's lowest bracket. So, as your career progresses and you are financially rewarded for your hard work you will get the opportunity to save and invest more of your salary.
AP Executive specialises in recruiting talented individuals with strong backgrounds in the legal and financial fields, but our worldwide network enables us to source jobs in other sectors too. We welcome all qualified and experienced candidates to apply for our roles, including people from commonwealth nations who have current knowledge of the UK legal and financial systems.
Guernsey job market report by Mike Bonsall (November 2010)
Guernsey has a reputation as a safe and secure jurisdiction, offering robust corporate governance, innovative wealth management solutions and the professional expertise of some of the most highly regarded people in the industry, the island has managed to weather the economic storm better than most.
So how exactly has the island faired over the past twelve months?
2009 saw many firms constrained by headcount freezes, often driven out by head offices as a result of adverse conditions affecting their businesses on a global scale. Those that were still able to recruit often did so cautiously, resulting in a recruitment process that could take many months to complete. This, coupled with a wider sense of unease and uncertainty amongst candidates, as well as employers, made for testing times.
The contrast between then and now is thankfully marked. Headcount freezes have, in the main, been lifted and there is a positive sense of optimism amongst recruiters and candidates. Whilst there have been some high-profile corporate casualties, there are also major players putting Guernsey at the very forefront of their global business strategy, and are rapidly establishing the island as the hub of their wealth management business across the whole EMEA region.
The outlook for smaller, locally-based, independent firms would also appear optimistic. There are certainly challenges to be faced, such as keeping pace with ever increasing operating costs and the demands for increased corporate governance and compliance. However the ability to remain nimble and pro active, delivering innovative, bespoke solutions to ever more demanding clients, at a time when bigger firms are often weighed down by greater levels of bureaucracy, can give these firms a vital competitive edge.
Conveniently located and combining a world class business infrastructure with a genuinely cosmopolitan and highly attractive standard of living sees Guernsey continuing to attract high profile businesses and individuals to its shores. Last year saw the likes of Terra Firma boss Guy Hands take up residence here and this year has seen Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button choose the island as his primary residence. We are also seeing an increase in high profile hedge funds also relocating their operations to Guernsey.
For these individuals and businesses Guernsey does appear to tick all the right boxes. However, whilst its ranking in global financial centre league tables remains strong, the island’s government and leading industry figures continue to raise awareness and forge greater links with emerging markets. At the same time the commitment to greater tax transparency and the preservation of the island’s competitiveness, whilst satisfying its EU neighbours, remains a top priority.
Guernsey has now signed a total of 17 TIEAs (tax information exchange agreements). The latest being with Greece. There are also further agreements likely to be signed over the coming months.
In recognition of the Far East’s rapid rise to prominence, Guernsey has also been strengthening its relationship with key figures in the region. Events such as the recent visit to Beijing and Shanghai by Guernsey Finance Chief Executive Peter Niven, the Island’s Chief Minister Lyndon Trott and the Lord Major of the City of London are becoming increasingly commonplace.
Looking ahead, next February’s ‘Future of Trusts’ conference, featuring key international speakers from the UK, Switzerland, China and India and covering such hot topics as Indian Wealth, Chinese Private Clients and Sharia Law, will only further enhance Guernsey’s reputation as a cutting edge wealth management jurisdiction.
So for professionals investigating employment opportunities on the island, how are things shaping up?
With responsibilities to the island that extend beyond safeguarding the interests of individual organisations, the government of Guernsey continues to regulate the influx of non-locally qualified workers into the island’s financial sector. Therefore before firms can look to apply for the necessary permits to recruit off-island, they do need to provide sufficient evidence that they have made every reasonable attempt to recruit a local candidate.
There are however still some great opportunities for exceptional international candidates, who can bring with them a high level of experience and relevant expertise. Salaries remain competitive in the global offshore market and other contributing factors, such as the island’s 20% maximum rate of personal income tax, extremely safe and secure environment and attractive quality of life means that Guernsey is often at, or near the top of our candidates’ wish list of jurisdictions.
With wealth management professionals becoming increasingly mobile, we are also seeing an increase in expats looking to return to Guernsey. Over the past year AP Executive has placed a number of high profile returnees with firms on the island. The fact that these professionals, who have spent a number of years in other jurisdictions building their careers and are at the very top of their game, are choosing to return to the island now, is an excellent testament to the esteem in which the island is held in the international community and to the employment opportunities that currently exist here.
Mike Bonsall is a Manager for AP Executive, a specialist global private wealth management consultancy.
Mourant Ozannes merger creates one of the world’s largest offshore law firms
Mourant and Ozannes, two of the leading offshore law firms, have merged to create Mourant Ozannes.
The merged firm brings together two of the premier legal practices in Jersey and Guernsey to create a firm with unrivalled strength-in-depth and industry knowledge across the Channel Islands. With over 200 fee-earners and 50 partners practising from offices in the Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and London, Mourant Ozannes is one of the world's largest offshore law firms.
Group Managing Partner, Jonathan Rigby, said: "We are very excited by the opportunities that the merger presents and we are looking forward to working together as one firm towards our shared vision, to be consistently recognised as the leading law firm offshore. We aim to achieve this by delivering exceptional client service through collective effort and mutual support and by becoming an employer of choice. Mourant Ozannes draws on the heritage of two great legal practices and I am extremely proud to be leading the new firm at this exciting time."