Post-crisis pay reform a bonus for Nordic consultancy firms

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The ongoing overhaul by Nordic banks of their reward and compensation structures post-financial crisis has been proving lucrative for Nordic and international financial services consultancy firms able to tap into growing demand for their on-off expertise.

On top of this, in areas such as IT, technology and trading, Nordic banks are increasingly looking for consultants who can offer high-level transferable skills rather than specific local knowledge, according to recruiters.

Earlier this month international consultancy Towers Watson swooped on local rival HRS, a firm which specialises in providing advice on executive compensation and employee rewards.

The company's expansion in the region is clear evidence of growing demand for consultancy expertise within the Nordic financial services arena, suggests Ake Flintull, managing consultant for Towers Watson services in Sweden and former managing partner at HRS.

"The drive towards new systems and mechanisms of variable pay and compensation, as well as the changed regulatory climate, has led to greater demand for people who understand compensation and compensation systems. This is all creating opportunities for consultancy firms," he says.

Other areas where demand for consultants is strong include IT and technology as well as in support of trading activities, agrees, particularly within the

"While local knowledge is still important, there is also much more demand for international expertise," says Michael Andenas, associate at recruitment firm K2 Partnering Solutions.

"Many Nordic banks are more willing to take on consultants in a variety of areas and gain access to that expertise. Particularly within technology, there is more of a willingness to take on consultants with the right skills and expertise even if they do not necessarily have the local language skills," he adds.

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