Are salaries in the ISDA/Derivatives Documentation market on the rise?

Due to the deadline for Uncleared Margin reform (1st March 2017), we have noticed a number of companies rapidly hiring numerous Negotiators on an interim basis in order to comply.

Some financial institutions/banks have so much work to do in order to comply that they are hiring interim Negotiators with less experience than they would usually hire if the role were permanent. Such is the demand for interim Negotiators that the market has now become much more candidate driven, meaning Negotiators are able to achieve higher than average salaries.

One such Negotiator increased their daily rate three-fold as they had exposure to Margin Reform work. With the increase in remuneration/daily rates there has been a flood of Negotiators wanting to work on an interim basis and in some cases no longer considering permanent opportunities.

However, whilst the demand is great and the remuneration is higher than average, there are still a significant number of negotiators who are continuing to take a more cautious and measured approach before deciding on their next career move despite the immediate significant rewards available. For example, they are considering factors such as quality of work, team set up, culture of institution, long term prospects and development.

For those of you that have made interim work a career path, the current market conditions are perfect. However, if you are considering a move and open to working on an interim basis, it could be worth taking a more holistic view of the market. Whilst working on an interim basis has the obvious benefit of high rewards over shorter time-frames, it is likely there will come a point in the future when the financial institutions have met regulatory deadlines the demand for interim Negotiators will decrease. What happens then?

It is a realistic possibility that this could lead to an increase of candidates seeking opportunities, resulting in a talent heavy market. What this means is that as there may be an increase in the number of Negotiators in the market, competition may be greater and remuneration may reduce (back to “normal” levels). Those Negotiators who decided to work on a permanent basis rather than working in an interim role will have the comfort of now being employed permanently and possibly not facing the higher levels of competition in the market.

What is my advice? It’s quite simple - if you are currently working on an interim basis then the current market conditions are perfect for you! If you have historically worked on a permanent basis or are in the early stages of your career as a Negotiator and require further support and mentoring then, it’s worth considering opportunities for all they have to offer. In a recent survey we conducted on the Documentation market, we found that whilst remuneration is of course a vital consideration; over a longer period, working hours, a varied and challenging workload and team environment were equally crucial deciding factors when considering a new position.

When you are considering your options it would be advisable to consider the longer term view over a possible short term monetary hike.