Mind the gap – the talent shortage within capital markets

  • Posted on February 20, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
capital markets candidates

This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Sanjay Marwaha.

The times, they are a-changing. There are numerous changes afoot in the capital markets: the economy is doing well and unemployment is down. The markets, though volatile, are trending up. Yet, the Fed just changed its tune on interest rates, and geopolitical conflicts drive uncertainty in all markets. It’s a uniquely opportune environment for change.

Capital markets firms looking to seize this opportunity will need to bring in skilled designers and technologists, yet the talent pool is running dry. In these macro-economic conditions, there is an expectation of increased competition for skilled employees but what we are seeing is a deeper talent shortage across the Capital Markets than can be explained by current trends.

Firstly, it is important to correctly characterize the problem. There are certainly finance professionals in the market in abundance – but do they have the right skills for what institutions and the industry more broadly need right now? Will they be the type of people to help embrace the future? We may consider that this ”talent drought’ is a dearth of experts with the right skills for the modern enterprise. We see this across all industries, not just capital markets.

What is driving this? Let’s consider these key factors:

  • Speed of Change – it has been said that “technology will never again evolve this slowly.” Under such conditions, how can banks ever be able to bring on the right talent if their needs and the market are so out of flux?
  • Changing Demographics – if we examine a typical, large financial institution, we see that the cultural divide across the workforce has never before been so pronounced. The skills to help succeed in the future are housed within a youthful workforce that has changing needs and desires. How are banks going to make themselves attractive to the next generation of worker?
  • Evolution of the Automation Paradigm – whether we’re talking about robotics, machine learning or artificial intelligence, we have at our fingertips, for the first time, the tools to do away with mundane, repetitive knowledge-worker tasks. But who will build these tools? Maintain them? Police them?
  • The Regulatory Continuum – never before have financial institutions had to navigate such an ever-changing regulatory landscape. As new and complex laws go into effect in various regions, how will banks find the right expertise to remain compliant, to mitigate risk and to identify crime?


What we see is that banks and other financial institutions are struggling to fill jobs in areas that they see growing the fastest. In technology, large monolithic legacy systems are being replaced by flexible, built for-purpose “digital” applications that require different types of designers and developers. Building in a close, collaborative model, digital architects require ready access to business users and customers; and a depth of expertise in emerging technologies that can be utilized to develop simple, intuitive and elegant solutions to enable the modern consumer.

Despite this talent shortage, banks can still take advantage of the market opportunity by pulling in third-party teams. Already tried and tested, these technologists specialize in both the technology and the industry, meaning they can rapidly build the technologies banks need, without excessive oversight or guidance – and without distracting from other internal technology priorities.

Learn more about Avanade’s capital markets expertise.

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