Options Group Releases Annual Pay Data Report to Wall Street

As the year draws to an end and financial institutions begin the process of allocating bonus pools and 2020 budgets, hiring managers and business unit heads once again are turning to Options Group compensation forecasts as a guide to employee pay expectations. Let’s take a closer look at why this single report remains the gold standard for banks and investment banks across the nation.

December 4, 2019 – Options Group has just released its 2019/2020 Global Financial Markets Overview and Compensation Report, long considered the ‘gold standard’ for pay data metrics among banks and investment banks.

This year’s report, “The Intersection of Disruptive Technology and Geopolitical Protectionism,” is chock full of key industry analytics, including financial market overviews, compensation summaries, salient predictions and detailed year-over-year hiring trends data, gathered from internal surveys, real hiring data, and publicly available news.

Options Group, a global talent provider to the financial services sector, offers market intelligence, talent mapping and strategic consulting advice to a host of blue chip clients. Headquartered in New York and now with offices in 16 major markets around the world (Los Angeles and Paris are its newest global offices), the recruitment provider is on track for another record year. Revenues and headcount are way up, according to a spokesman, who said that more office openings can be expected as 2020 unfolds.

Client Reward: Reducing Turnover

“Our growth continues to be exponential across products and regions,” said chief growth officer Richard Stein. “Our leading technologies and new products & services have allowed us to enlarge our conversations within the C-suite of financial services and technology companies globally and the future requires us to infuse talent management with applied predictive analytics. We’re now called in not just to hire, but to onboard, develop and retain the best talent.”

The reward for clients, he noted, will be reduced talent turnover and to grow better decision makers.

The heavy growth and big expansion plans that have been underway at Options Group over the last several years are the byproduct of a client base undergoing transition, transformation, and disrupted business models. Those clients are all seeking fresh talent possessing a myriad of new skillsets to reposition and realign their organizations for the next decade.

In fact, the firm’s latest report found that the exponential growth of personal data on the internet and across social media has itself disrupted many companies’ business models. And that means big business for recruiters who can tap into new talent pipelines.

“The regulatory framework that governs artificial intelligence and machine learning is being readily impacted by data-driven advances that are realigning and reshaping our world,” said Mike Karp, CEO of Options Group. “As countries continuously leverage data to gain a competitive commercial advantage, the integration of digital and physical worlds is essential. The continuous data revolution is having a seismic impact on global trade as well as wealth creation.” It is also having a big impact on Mr. Karp’s talent business as well.


Options Group Sees Seismic Shifts in Compensation Protocols

A new state-wide compensation law bans employers from relying upon or inquiring about the compensation history of a job applicant or current employee in deciding whether to hire or promote, or in determining compensation levels, among other things.

The ban also expressly applies to persons or entities acting as an employment agent, recruiter, or otherwise connecting applicants with employers. The compensation history inquiry ban does not prohibit an applicant or current employee from voluntarily disclosing their compensation history for the purposes of negotiation, so long as the disclosure was not prompted. That being said, employers should be careful not to coerce or pressure an applicant or employee into providing their compensation history.


“Forty years ago, intangible assets comprised a very small proportion of the S&P 500,” he said. “Today, however, intellectual property and the data it protects make up most of it.”

The Options Group Global Financial Markets Overview and Compensation Report is the culmination of 12 months of work by more than 175 global consultants and OGiQ analysts. It is intended to help the firm’s clients make informed compensation decisions for 2020 and develop human resource management plans and policies for the coming year.

The firm’s proprietary research and benchmarking group, OGiQ, captured information on global business performance, key talent moves, recruitment trends, and compensation practices through its extensive and global database of more than half a million industry professionals, interviews with senior executives across the industry, and various other data sources.

This year’s voluminous report provides an in-depth analysis of insights and data gathered from internal consultants and clients, by way of conversations, questionnaires, and internal data analysis tools and strategies. It offers forward-looking compensation projections by product and geographical region. Percentage changes in compensation are based on employees’ expectations and Options Group’s perspectives on current compensation and hiring trends.

Who Makes What?

There are a number of reasons why top Wall Street banks and investment banks turn to this pay data report year after year. For starters, who wouldn’t want to know what the major themes were that impacted global compensation this year. And more to the point, who – among the U.S., EMEA, and Asia – will be paid higher, lower, or the same compensation in 2020 vs. this year and the year before.

Many financial services clients, of course – from managing directors, directors, vice presidents and associates located around the world – can’t wait to get their hands on one key pay data metric: who’s being paid what. Top-level salary range data is a popular stopping point in this report for subscribers. And while they’re leafing through it, many will also take a look at what products are seeing the greatest demand for talent around the world and which regions are hiring mostly to replace talent, or which are likely to see reductions in headcount.

For anyone the least bit curious as to why someone accepted, rejected, or stayed at their current job post – the Options Group report has those answers, too.

The Power of Predictive Tools

For the recruiting industry, the landscape that Options Group reveals is being transformed like never before. A much underreported story, according to Mr. Karp, is how the power of predictive tools in hiring and developing talent has become commonplace.

“These tools have been instrumental in helping us to shape the future success of our clients as they improve management and leadership, drive performance and development, and improve engagement and retention,” said Mr. Karp. “Options Group has been at the forefront of talent strategy and leadership development and has long integrated talent-management with applied predictive analytics not just to hire but to onboard develop and retain the best talent. The reward for clients will be greater diversity and reduced talent turnover.”

Even the constant onslaught of restrictive privacy regulations can become a business opportunity for agile and innovative recruiting firms such as Options Group, he said.


Private Equity & Venture Capital Recruiting: Linking Talent to Growth

This latest research report from Hunt Scanlon Media examines the growing talent dilemma unfolding at private equity firms – and offers an array of solutions to win the widening war for leadership. According to Hunt Scanlon, the PE sector can expect to see an expanding bidding war for top talent over the next decade. Driving the trend: persistent global talent shortages across the C-suite in most industries and functions, including finance, healthcare and biotech, digital and technology.

Linking talent to growth is this report’s overriding theme. Hunt Scanlon has surveyed private equity leaders and their chief talent officers as well as leading executive recruiters specializing in the sector. Their expert commentary and advice is contained in this year’s report. Click here to read more!


As Options Group argued in its February whitepaper, “A Long and Short-Term View of Brexit,” these requirements are an opportunity for well-prepared organizations to develop a new competitive advantage. Companies of tomorrow may well decide that GDPR compliance with respect to talent acquisition, for example, will be too resource-intensive and will instead choose to outsource talent requirements to firms like Options Group with an excellent record of GDPR compliance and agility to execute faster and better.

Vision 2020 Blueprint

Four years ago, to address its clients’ changing needs and priorities, Options Group established Vision 2020. It is the firm’s blueprint to become the preeminent talent management firm in the world for target clients in selected businesses.

As that year now arrives, Options Group looks to become its clients’ go-to search provider and talent intelligence platform and clear first choice to help build a talent base for winning competitive battles. “To all the hard working employees of Options Group globally, the leadership extends its sincere thanks and gratitude for helping us reach that goal,” Mr. Karp said.

“In the year ahead, we will be rolling out additional client services in our OGiQ division, in parallel to the firm’s traditional recruitment business,” he said. “This includes compensation advisory and analytics and new services and products in our management and leadership assessment center OG Psynet, our technology and infrastructure group OGTSU, OG University and OG Diverse.”

These offerings, said Mr. Karp, “will make the life cycle of the recruiting business completely seamless for our clients.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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