Recruitment Market Update – Corporate Finance & Investment

With the major events of 2016 looming large in the background, 2017 has had a relatively positive start. The   abundance of capital available in ever more varied forms and the desire to add value through private market   investment is the cornerstone of activity through the beginning of 2017.

Sector wise, we are witnessing an increasing focus in the areas of Energy (renewables in particular), FinTech and Healthcare.

Further, Large Corporates (Irish based) continue to focus on capital deployment internationally in search of new markets and verticals.

Corporate Finance: Brexit uncertainty aside, activity levels are surprisingly positive with an increasing focus on harnessing potential in FinTech and similar areas delivering activity to date in 2017. There are specialist angles in many of the larger advisory firms and a number of boutique offerings in the tech space which are well equipped to deal with the increasing demand for advisory services.

Private Equity & Venture Capital: The continuing influx of capital in this sector is providing SME’s, mid markets and smaller corporates with varied and attractive capital sources. There has been some notable new entrants announcing their presence in Ireland in the earlier part of 2017. This continues to create a highly competitive landscape for the deployment of capital.

Leveraged Finance: Private market debt is the “new” focus for 2017 in Ireland! Global investors continue to seek diversification. This, coupled with the ongoing battle for yield has created a focus on debt provision in forms/sectors that the traditional Banks have not been servicing. Undoubtedly, SMEs will continue to turn to well-funded, commercial and credible international names where the domestic institutions are not currently competitive.   


Positively, activity will continue but deals are taking longer to complete and competition is fierce between all investment and advisory houses. Previously less explored areas of FinTech and Data Analytics are and will continue to be to the forefront in 2017.

How does this look for the recruitment market?

In the earlier part of 2017 we have noticed the following key trends:

Mid Level: Strong demand across the investment spectrum for candidates with excellent academic backgrounds, strong technical skills and in many cases a “new” angle, such as an interest in or experience with technology or data science.

Mid – Senior Level: Activity is increasing. Where a demonstrable strong technical background and the ability to originate are present. It is at this level we are seeing an uptick in activity from candidates based in the UK and to a lesser extent in the US, Canada, and Australia who are looking to return to Ireland.

Senior Levels: Relative demand for those who have been in the market with excellent leadership and proven origination skills.

It has been an interesting beginning to the year. As we hear more and more about Brexit relocation, we would plead caution – to date enquiries from serious players have been particularly early stage, and the burden of regulation is likely to delay any tangible relocation to Ireland into 2018 at least.


About FK International

FK International is Ireland’s leading specialist financial recruitment consultancy, with a highly successful track record built up since our foundation in 1998. During this time, FK International has successfully represented many leading national and international banks, Corporate Finance firms, Investment & P/E houses and niche operators on both high profile and discrete search assignments. In H1’17, FK International successfully recruited for the following positions on behalf of Irish and International clients:

  • Investor Relations Manager - MNC
  • Transaction Lead – Private Debt Fund
  • Director – VC/Private Equity
  • Corporate Development Manager – Plc
  • Corporate Finance Executive, Boutique
  • Senior Analyst – Private Equity

Ger Buckley is Head of Corporate Finance & Investment Recruitment at FK International. Prior to joining FK International, Ger worked as a Vice President in Wells Fargo, focusing on European Corporate and M&A Banking. Ger graduated from University College Dublin with a B agr. Sc (1st Hons) in 2006.

For further information, please contact Ger on +353 1 6688060 or at