What are the highest paid jobs in Scottish finance?

Edinburgh's financial district. 'Picture: Mike Wilkinson
Edinburgh's financial district. 'Picture: Mike Wilkinson
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Looking for a new role in the financial sector? Read on to find out which specialities pay the highest wages.

With a fresh study showing the number of people employed across Scotland’s finance sector has reached almost 157,000, recruiters are predicting further growth this year.

The days are gone when an employer could attract a candidate for as little as £75,000

John Docherty, divisional director for accounting and finance at Core-Asset Consulting

According to Core-Asset Consulting, an Edinburgh-based recruitment firm that specialises in the financial sector, last year saw a “surge” in marketing-related roles among asset managers and there was a “recognisable shift in companies being prepared and willing to pay above the market rate, especially for difficult-to-fill roles” elsewhere in the arena.

READ MORE: In numbers: Scotland’s financial services sector

In the accountancy sector, Core-Asset also found an increase in salary expectations – especially among finance directors. “In 2015 it became unrealistic for companies to expect this level of skills and expertise for less than £100,000,” said John Docherty, the firm’s divisional director for accounting and finance.

“The days are gone when an employer could attract a candidate for as little as £75,000. Instead, finance directors will consider a move to London – whether permanently or commuting – than take a role in Scotland at such a rate.”

In the life and pensions sector, drawdown specialists are in favour thanks to the increased freedoms that customers have been given in relation to their pension savings, while the ever-changing regulatory landscape means experienced compliance professionals are also in demand.

Betsy Williamson, managing director of Core-Asset Consulting, said: “2015 was another encouraging year for the financial sector in Scotland.

“Recruitment activity pointed to signs – particularly among asset managers and third-party administrators – that companies are beginning to turn their attention to growth and the seeking out of new clients and in new territories.”


up to £170,000 – head of function, asset management front office

up to £150,000 – audit

up to £150,000 – managing director, asset servicing

up to £140,000 – client assets specialist

up to £125,000 – head of platform operations

up to £120,000 – head of legal

up to £120,000 – marketing director

up to £110,000 – decision support/finance business partner

up to £100,000+ – finance director

up to £90,000 – fund accountant

Source: Core-Asset Consulting salary guide 2016