Headhunter Robert Walters says the City's finance firms have started hiring again after the Brexit vote

Oliver Gill
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Thawing out? Robert Walters said there had been an uptick in activity in the first three months of 2017 (Source: Getty)

Recruitment in the Square Mile surged in the first three months of 2017 as City firms rebooted hiring initiatives after digesting the country’s decision to leave the EU.

One of the UK’s largest headhunters, Robert Walters, today revealed UK fee income had leapt by 27 per cent over the last quarter, saying there had been a “notable upturn in financial services recruitment activity in London”.

Its strong performance at home underpinned a 20 per cent growth in gross profit across the group, which has offices in 28 countries.

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Chief executive Robert Walters told City A.M.: “There was significant increase in some of the more specialised senior roles, such as in investment manager and, no surprise, in compliance and cyber security. And also in some of the traditional senior finance positions.”

Never predict

Walters, however, was cautious as to whether this was a trend that will continue in the months to come, saying “you can never predict investment banks in terms of hiring”.

He added: “I’ve always said and thought is the biggest problem in recruitment, as in stock markets, is uncertainty.

We haven’t seen any nervousness now we have finally pulled the trigger. If anything, there maybe a bit of relief we’re finally on the track.

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“Whichever side of the Brexit equation you sit, there is no doubt that people get bored of it and they carry on with business as usual.

“[When it comes to] passporting rights, we’re in all the locations [companies] could move to, so we’re quite happy to roll out the red carpet for anyone entering those regions.”

UK net fee income growth was matched in Europe (with a 25 per cent increase) but the firm’s largest geographical sector, Asia Pacific, swelled at a more modest 10 per cent on a constant currency basis. Mainland China “continued to be challenging”, the firm said.

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