Recruitment Themes and Predictions for 2018 - CASS

  • June 11, 2018

As the home of the UK's first and only specialist CASS recruitment team, we've cast an eye over what's changed within the market and which type of experts are in demand, as well as making some predictions for the rest of 2018.


2017 was the first year that firms were audited under the FRC’s new standards, and it’s likely that the FCA were more lenient in their approach as a result. Following this year’s audit however, posted to the FCA on 30th April, it’s unlikely that the regulator will be quite so tolerant with fines again. The FCA will make the decision to scrutinise or investigate any audits that arouse suspicions, giving firms 48 hours’ notice for a spot check of their CASS RP. Whilst inside a firm, the FCA can also investigate compliance with other regulations such as GDPR or MiFID II, and issue a s166 notice if necessary.

What types of experts will be in hire demand?

At FourthLine we see a pretty consistent level of demand for CASS experts, but are there are two main types of experts that we expect to be in particularly high demand following this year’s audits. Firstly, we anticipate firms will be looking to bring in experienced TPA Oversight Specialists. As the FCA considers that the outsourcing firm holds responsibility to ensure that it has effective oversight in place, there will be a big demand for experts who can strengthen firms in this area. Reporting directly into the CF10a, TPA Oversight Specialists will need to go over all CASS dealings in fine detail, overseeing and monitoring collateral transactions. They will need to be able to analyse different outputs specific to their TPAs, identify areas of concern and address them.

In addition, we also expect CASS Assurance Specialists to be in high demand. These experts control the mapping and testing of CASS within a firm, and whilst this job tended to be done thoroughly when the new rules were introduced, inevitably it’s likely that standards have now slipped. We wouldn’t be surprised if this hasn’t been tested or updated in some firms since last year, so bringing expertise into the assurance space should resolve any issues raised in this year’s audit and reduce the risk of an adverse audit in the future.

What skills are in demand this year?

There are typical skill sets that will always be in demand within the CASS market, and any expert with a thorough knowledge of CASS and the ability to demonstrate their experience will be sought after.

In line with the roles discussed above, experts who have strong social and stakeholder management skills will be of particular use to potential employers. These roles require someone who can show assertiveness and push back when necessary, present to stakeholders and build strong relationships across the firm and with third parties.

What is driving change within the CASS market?

We expect remediations from the latest CASS audit will be the main driver of change within the CASS market this year. In particular, we anticipate a need for line-by-line rule mapping in response to the FRC’s new Assurance Standards.

Additionally, oversight of TPAs will be another area driving change, with the FCA increasing their focus on TPAs due to a perceived underperformance.

What are FourthLine’s predictions for the rest of 2018?

We expect that the next 6-8 weeks will be very important within the CASS market, and we’ve been preparing thoroughly for this period. As firms start posting the results of their audits we should see an increased demand for CASS expertise, and FourthLine are ready to help firms with their resourcing requirements with up to 150 CASS specialists qualified within our network.

We anticipate that the firms who have something to be worried about following the audit will be hearing from the FCA sooner rather than later, giving them more time to prepare for remediations. It’s likely that all firms will have some feedback to respond to, and whatever level of assistance you require, FourthLine can connect you to the expert talent you need to resolve any issues.

Beyond this upcoming period of increased activity, we expect the rest of 2018 to be busy for our CASS team, partly driven by the knock-on effect of specialists changing roles and creating new openings in the previous companies, and partly due to the business as usual nature of CASS recruitment.

Finally, we anticipate some demand for senior CASS experts in response to the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR) later in the year. Firms that currently have multi-control function holders are likely to be targeted by the FCA, who aren’t keen on individuals wearing too many hats within a firm. In these instances, we expect small firms to be looking for experienced CASS specialists to come into new dedicated CF10, CF10a or CF11 roles.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the above points, or discuss your CASS recruitment requirements, get in touch with our CASS team on 0203 800 1553.



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