Core-Asset Consulting believes a wave of “destabilising” lockdown job cuts coupled with firms employing a permanent or semi-permanent move to remote or hybrid working is prompting “radical” changes in the sector.
Jack Anderson, a consultant specialising in wealth-management at the firm, said heavy hitters such as Blackrock and Coutts have opened offices in Edinburgh for 2021, and this paves the way for peers to follow suit.
“Regional hubs offer the ability to service local Scottish clients at source, and from a health and wellbeing perspective also offer the opportunity for employees who are perhaps based in London, or in cities elsewhere, to relocate to more rural and less densely populated areas,” he said.
Core-Asset Consulting said the pandemic had a major impact on wealth-managers, with many cutting back on staff – particularly in the first half of 2020 as business slowed during the first government lockdown.
Mr Anderson cited emerging demand for experienced investment managers and financial planners who could bring a book of clients with them. He added: "Especially in the current candidate buoyant market, having a regional office outwith London is one of the ways employers can tempt the best talent in the sector – as it offers flexibility for potential employees.
“Previously, many felt that to be a successful fund manager you had to stay in the South-east, because that’s where the majority of big firms were. However, with the technology and flexible working espoused from the pandemic, this is now beginning to change.
“The pandemic has shown that it is plausible that successful fund managers [can] continue their career while moving out of the hustle and bustle and expense of London.”
Core-Asset Consulting was formed in 2005. Having started out focused on Scotland’s asset-management sector, it is now a £14 million business that works across the entire financial services landscape, from the smallest boutiques to the biggest global players, with 22 staff.
In September it said London-based financial services firms were increasingly looking to attract Scottish staff with the lure of remote working and City salaries.