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What is the IR market like? A 60 second overview!

What is the IR market like? A 60 second overview!

Debbie Nathan Market Insight

The million dollar recruitment question! This time of year, both candidates and clients are keen to know what the investor relations recruitment landscape is like to determine whether it’s an advisable time to commence a recruitment process, or to make a career move.

From a clients’ perspective, Q1 is an optimal time to be hiring as there is a flurry of candidates to the market, particularly as bonuses get paid over the coming weeks and a new job search escalates on people’s priority lists. The optimistic sentiment and expectations of growth in the IR space makes it an attractive market.

There has been a good level of new roles at Carter Murray in 2019 across all parts of the market we cover – the corporate listed space, private equity, IR advisory and within IR corporate solutions. We have had a number of client meetings with institutions looking to hire their first inhouse IR professional. So much so, we have prepared a guide on all you need to know when hiring your first inhouse IR professional and this has been shared with numerous CFO’s and CEO’s to fully prepare them.

Despite the market apprehension as we approach Brexit, the new year is often when new budgets for additional headcount kick in which brings the opportunity to grow or reshape IR teams. 

As we approach the end of January, I have prepared a quick overview of what we are seeing in the areas of IR where we are currently working roles:

Corporate IR

  • Despite a slowdown since Q4, there has been a decent amount of roles. The most active part of the market has been the mid to senior manager level
  • January is typically seasonally slower as many Heads of IR are primarily focused on preparing year end reporting, and once that is complete they will then focus on resourcing requirements
  • Activity is being largely driven by newly created roles, rather than replacement roles, indicating good growth in the IR market

Private Equity/Alternative Assets

  • We have seen an increase in the number of roles in the PE space over the last 4 weeks
  • Many firms are exploring the pros and cons of increasing inhouse resources with an end goal of eliminating, or certainly reducing, the use of placement agents for subsequent fundraisings. This can be a much more effective structure and comes with enormous cost savings in the long term
  • There is a lot of demand for candidates with a corporate finance/M&A/deal type background with high levels of financial literacy and transaction experience

Corporate Solutions

  • There has been a noticeable increase in demand for resources within IR Service providers, across sales, business development, account management, share register analysis and proxy
  • The number of providers have increased exponentially over recent years and this growth isn’t slowing. Many of these are expanding across Europe and capitalising on the general growth in the IR space

International

  • Through our 11 international offices, we have been able to tap in to the global IR market and have a bigger footprint. We are currently working with a Middle Eastern based company sourcing IR talent and we have had dialogues with European listed companies hiring this year.

If you would like a further insight into the IR market, or to discuss current roles, please do get in touch at debbienathan@cartermurray.com.