More institutional and independently owned wealth management businesses plan to hire new staff this year than at the start of 2014, according to new research.
A Dawson Partnership survey found 32 per cent of the organisations surveyed intended to hire new employees, compared with 24 per cent planning to do so in 2014.
“The increase in hiring intentions is primarily attributable to the increased growth and profitability experienced across respondent organisations in 2014 and their belief that this will continue in 2015,” Dawson Partnership principal Peter Dawson said.
“While there were a number of domestic and international factors identified by respondents that could negatively impact on their hiring decisions, most were of the view that the impact would be short lived and would not have a material adverse effect on full-year profitability.”
Of the survey respondents, 23 per cent were from super funds, 20 per cent from aligned financial planning firms, 17 per cent from platform businesses, 16 per cent from independent financial planning firms and 14 per cent from investment management companies.
The survey also found 60 per cent of respondents expected to maintain their current staff levels, while 8 per cent were unsure.
In contrast to the 2014 survey, none of the respondents were planning to cut staff levels this year.
In 2014, 12 per cent of employers indicated they would cut staff.
Although no respondents stated they were likely to reduce current employee numbers, 22 per cent said they would be adopting a cautious approach to employee levels.
A further 11 per cent said that in the immediate term they would not replace employees who left their businesses.
“The positive sentiment of respondents was not only evidenced in increased hiring intentions, but also since respondents indicated that they weren’t considering decreasing employee numbers,” Dawson said.
“Where business conditions call for cost-cutting, respondents stated that they would look at natural attrition.”
Of the 32 per cent of businesses in the 2015 survey that indicated their intention was to increase employee numbers, 42 per cent stated that was due to positive investor sentiment.
Respondents said there was continued investor appetite for retirement and non-retirement products, particularly across mainstream asset classes.
At the same time, 34 per cent said the intention to hire was due to factors related specifically to their business operations.
Those factors included the success of business initiatives, including the launch of new products, entering new business channels and building deeper relationships with existing clients.
Also, 22 per cent stated the intention to hire staff was due to factors underpinning a positive business environment, including more certainty in relation to the legislative agenda.