What are the highest paid jobs in Scottish finance?

Looking for a new role in the financial sector? Read on to find out which specialities pay the highest wages.

Edinburgh's financial district. Picture: Mike Wilkinson

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.

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.

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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