Optimism, jobs on the up in Australasian wealth market


The Australian and New Zealand wealth management industries are gearing up for growth in 2020, with both hiring intentions and optimism on the rise, just-released survey results show. According to the SUPER Recruiters survey, almost two-thirds of respondents tipped 2020 would be better for their own businesses and the industry as a whole.

“More respondents to this year’s annual outlook survey are more optimistic about the future than at any other time in the past five years,” Matthew Coleman, partner SUPER Recruiters, said in a release.

“Our industry leaders reported that they see improved – or at least stable – business conditions, leading to the opportunity for innovation and growth, both in terms of assets and business.”

About a quarter of those surveyed expected flat year-on-year conditions in 2020 while only 5 per cent of respondents were despondent on the outlook.

The SUPER Recruiters report says a third of surveyed firms planned to hire more employees in 2020 while over 40 per cent expected staff status quo.

“Interestingly, no organisations said they planned to downsize,” the report says. “Though 16% said they expected to replace some roles with technology.”

Sales staff and risk/compliance specialists would be most in demand next year, the survey says, suggesting businesses are positioning for growth and front-footing regulatory pressure.

“Risk and compliance roles have been among the most in-demand roles for several years now, with several organisations reporting they are having difficulty recruiting proven people,” the study says.

Despite the overall air of optimism, the survey found the industry remains worried about increasing regulation (37 per cent), more competition (23 per cent) and the prospects of a market crash (21 per cent).

The study found that these brewing issues would likely see staff facing extra pressure in 2020 with over half of respondents (53 per cent) expecting employees to be more stressed next year.

Australian businesses also generally supported the resumption of increases to the superannuation contribution rate. Currently, the compulsory Australian superannuation contribution rate has stalled at 9.5 per cent – although under legislation, the figure is targeted to hit 12 per cent by 2025.

Just above half of those surveyed backed a resumption of the contribution increases while a third supported further delays.

The SUPER Recruiter study was based on an online industry survey (and follow-up interviews) this November of Australian and NZ firms operating in the wealth management, investment, financial advice and associated industries. Over a third of respondents were based in NZ.

– David Chaplin, Investment News NZ