Nordic firms remain optimistic despite growing international storm

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With job cuts and hiring freezes coming out of the UK market, sentiment has turned rather frosty. In the global world of financial services, the happenings in the City have implications for the Nordic market.

Nordic banks will need to be taking this, and recent signs of further weakness in the US economy, seriously, but for the moment at least banks and recruiters remain optimistic about the hiring outlook for the months ahead.

Wictor Bonde, banking and financial services consultant at Michael Page in Stockholm, says: "I expect the market to continue to grow. Sweden's economy is one of the strongest in Europe. We have done a significant number of risk roles during late 2009 and 2010. Sales-related positions and cash management are also standing out.

The fact many recruitment firms are themselves hiring is also indicative of general optimism about future growth prospects, Bonde points out.

"The investment funds run by the big Nordic banks are continuing to do surprisingly well, and we are seeing some privately-run funds that are recruiting," agrees Anders Borg, president of recruiter Hansar International.

"Analyst roles are in demand, and even account managers, though we are not talking huge numbers, probably not even in the hundreds, and a lot of it is still tending to be internal hiring or promotion rather than hiring externally," he adds.

Another area where there is demand is for back-office roles, he suggests. "The number of transactions being carried out has been steadily going up and so there is growing demand for administrative and support staff."

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