Why Financial Market’s Businesses Need A-Players more than ever before

by Daniel Halstead

Shifts in Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) over the last 10 years have changed the profile of person that FMI businesses want to hire.­ There used to be little competition for key hires between CCPs and Exchanges, mainly because there was little competition between these businesses. Exchanges and CCPs were mostly interconnected and naturally no one wanted to hire their partner’s staff.

Fast forward to today and that relationship has changed: Higher competitiveness between CCPs; higher revenue opportunity driven due to regulatory change (inc. mandatory OTC clearing); focus on cross margining and collateral; and vertical clearing models for trading venues have changed the landscape of talent attraction immeasurably.­

Huge shifts and commercial opportunities are happening right now and the businesses that win the competition for market share may even potentially enjoy dominance enjoyed by listed venues for long periods of time (for instance LME was founded in 1877).­ Territories are being created right now which could shape the business landscape for generations.­ At the front line of the battle for domination are the most skilled people working in FMI – the A-Players.

FMI businesses now require people who are skilled to support the rapidly changing environment and to represent their businesses in the competition for OTC market share.­

Though A-Players are documented to deliver 400% output compared to an average performer the rate of return in financial markets should be a great deal higher due to the significant long-term revenue opportunities being carved out and the multitude of commercial opportunities available to major Exchange, CCP, Clients services and Prime Brokerage businesses.­­

I believe that the right senior manager in FMI today could feasibly establish an income or revenue stream continues to be highly profitable for many decades, meaning the current value derived from an A-Player could be at an all-time high for OTC & FMI businesses.

It’s well documented that businesses compete to hire A-Players, but in a market as small as European FMI there aren’t many experienced, relevant and available A-Players to complete for.­ Businesses have to be smart and to get great at hiring if they want to hire only top-performers, every time.­

But where can businesses find the A-Players that can write the future history of their firms?

Be Flexible – Hire opportunistically, hire top performers when they are looking for work and find something for them to do before the specific need arises.­ Though this sounds great on paper, in practice is never really possible, if you’re lucky enough to work in this type of environment then congratulations, you have a great and very brave boss!


Hire A-Players You Already Know – This is the gold standard of recruitment, and I advise all of our clients to start with this method, this is the least risk, most likely path to deliver an A-Player and it’s very low cost.­ When Hiring an A-Player you already know, whose work output has been exceptional in a similar environment you can be near certain of a successful outcome.

Hire an A-Player Through a Trusted Source – Use contacts, a trusted professional services firm and/or a trusted recruitment supply route that genuinely cares about the quality of your hire and who has evaluated the applicants past performance in a similar environment.­ This is the most repeatable and reliable method of hiring A-Players you don’t already know, and carries an acceptable level of risk.­ Combined with a well-structured interview process you should be able to hire an A-Player every time.

Compete to Hire the Best – You want the best business in OTC Markets?­ So does everyone else.­ Realise that you have to be decisive and focused if you want to hire the best people, and that the best people will be in demand.

Note – for the purpose of hiring A-Players I really don’t recommend basic job adverts, and other transactional recruitment methods.­ In my experience average recruitment methods result in average success rates and an average number of high performers in your team.

Kite know x,xxx A-Players in FMI, a number that grows every day as our network expands, I recommend you also put effort in to expanding your network if you want to hire A-Players every time.

Though there is undoubtedly a scarcity of top performers, with knowledge and contacts you can hire an A-Player every time.­ In my opinion the scarcity of ability to identify and secure A-Players is greater than the literal scarcity of talent.

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