By Max Clarke

Despite the Government’s sabre rattling stance on bank bonuses and the long awaited Project Merlin deal, big bonuses are still set to dominate the investment banking arena. However, according to Oliver Gibbons, Director of Twenty Technology, the specialist recruiter, this may not be enough to stem the technology brain drain out of financial services.

“We are seeing an increasing trend towards commercial organisations really raising their game financially in order to lure project management, development and business analysis talent away from financial services. This is particularly true of organisations which have commodity trading elements to their business such as the energy sector where the need for specific skill sets around energy trading platforms is at an all time high. But we are also seeing high demand from the telecoms, software house and consultancy sectors.

Gibbons says that he has already seen candidates jumping ship to take advantage of not only comparable pay and bonuses but also an arguably higher quality of work life balance and variety of work:

“In an investment bank projects are going to be very process driven and geared towards improving those processes — there isn’t necessarily the opportunity to work on the more creative Greenfield strategic projects such as those offered within commerce & industry. In fact the level of regulatory reform means that banks are having to priorities projects around risk and regulation — the more ‘sexy’ front office projects are having to take a back seat.

“Outside of financial services, there is not only more of an opportunity to move away from the possible constraints of permanent employment into contracting — at very lucrative rates - but also the chance to travel. The energy sector, for example is international and there are large scale projects being undertaken across Europe.”

For technologists looking for a change of culture, there are certainly no shortage of opportunities.