Market Trends and Salaries in 2016


I thought that is was time for an annual review of what's happening in the insolvency recruitment market and how salaries are moving.  These are my views based on my experience of the market and are from a recruitment perspective which may differ from those at the coal face!


Dare I start by saying that I hope that what appeared to be endless redundancies over the last 5 years has finally ceased.....well maybe!  In the corporate sector then I'd like to say that it probably has but it hasn't finished in the IVA market.  Even the corporate sector is in challenging times with a continuing downturn in work.  So what else is happening? 

More Competition

  • It seems that a new insolvency practice opens up every day at the moment!  
  • In reality there is definitely an increase in IP practices, sole practitioners and small partnerships.
  • Frustrated qualified Managers seem to be setting up with minimal overheads and a handful of work referrers and giving it a go!
  • There have been some retirements and a small number of mergers but overall my view is that there are more and more firms with more and more IPs.......all in a declining market!!  

Corporate Insolvency Administators in Short Supply 

  • Demand for Insolvency Administrators is definitely on the up!
  • Mainly corporate
  • 2-4 years experience in demand but are especially in short suppy........why?  Because few trainee positions have been recruited in the last 5 years so ask yourself where are the 2-4 year experienced candidates likely to come from?  Plus if you are one of the few who has trained new recruits in recent years, then you are going to want to hang onto them having invested time and money.  This is reflected in our salary survey

Movements up the line

  • There has been a recent increase in demand for senior corporate adminstrators.  I suspect that this is partly driven by the lack of 2-4 year administrators.
  • Beyond that there is little real movement.

Advisory is the flavour of the moment

  • Anyone with advisory skills will be of interest to a number of larger and mid tier firms
  • IBRs and viability skills are rare these days amongst candidates who can also have good technical knowledge but that's what is being sought
  • Any level of candidate with advisory skills is in demand
  • Shame that many IPs haven't been training staff in this area 

 Where are the work winners?

  • Everyone.....and I mean just about everyone is looking for candidates who can win work
  • BDMs - again demand is extremely high but there are very few BDMs who understand insolvency.  Good BDMs can sell ice to the Eskimos but we don't sell ice!  Generally BDMs being BDMs can sell themselves but too few can deliver in our profession.
  • Why don't we train our technical staff who have a personality in business development?  If they understand what they are selling they are better placed to win work than some salesman who was selling ice last week!  Besides, the work referrers much prefer to talk to someone who knows more than they do about insolvency!  

IP's - which catagory do you fall into?

  • Work winning IPs are definitely in demand but a scarce resource particularly amongst the newly qualified
  • Technical IPs are far less needed but there are many JIEB qualified candidates who aspire to take appointments. Technical IPs are often recruited through internal promotion
  • We need to get the balance between the technical and work winning aspects of the role better as we are in danger of being a profession of technicians with no work to do!
  • The difference is less important in the personal market but there are an increasing number of clients who are seeking work winning IVA IPs which reflects the nature of the IVA market currently

The IVA Market Generally

  • Would it be wrong to use the word "turmoil" when discussing the IVA market? There are certainly big changes due to FCA issues and the level of competition in the market
  • A number of firms are pulling out of parts of the market and making staff redundant 
  • IVA staff generally have a limited range of skills with few being able to do both pre and post appointment casework
  • The private sector demands all round skills whereas the "factories" prefer low cost processors

Lessons of the last Decade.....or longer!

  • Candidates lack all round skills these days - we need to give staff more rounded skills
  • We pigeon hole staff and train them in limited areas - we should expose staff to many aspects of insolvency from advisory to closings from corporate to personal
  • Wider skilled candidates provide better service to your clients and they are more adaptable and flexible
  • We should plan for the future recognising where the talent of the future is likely to come from.  We do need to train new staff if the proofession is to move forward. Cutting top line costs at manager level without reinvesting at lower levels has been a big mistake by many firms resulting in today's shortages of administrators
  • A lot of JIEB qualified candidates assume that they are IPs as soon as they pass the exams.  This is very rarely the case. There's more to being an IP than passing a few exams and some would say that practical experience of all aspects of managing an insolvency practice and of casework is far more important
  • As a profession we have encouraged passing JIEB without thinking how we will reward and motivate staff in a declining market.  We have too many IPs who compete on fees and it is hard to find the rewards that were once available to an IP who set himself up in business
  • We must encourage more work winners.  We must encourage technical staff to get involved and give them targets to win work.  Without work winners the profession will contract.......which may be solution but I see that there are far too few work winners these days


Again the following salary trends are based on my experience from the cases that I have been recruiting for and candidates. This is not a market survey just my gut feel!  Larger firms will usually pay more and there is no account taken of specialisms, length of service, qualifications or location.  But hey's a rough guide to the way salaries are moving in the provinces!

Trainees    £16-20k (2015 £15-17k)

Corporate Administrators     £20-25k (2015 £18-22k)

Senior Corporate Administrators     £25-30k (2015 £24-27k)

Assistant Corporate Managers    £30-35k (2015 £30-35k)

Corporate Managers       £35-45k (2015 £35-45k)

Senior Corporate Managers      £45-55k (2015 £45-55k)

Corporate IPs       £70k+ (2015 £60k+)

Pre Appointment IVA Administrators      £17-24k (2015 £16-22k)

Post Appointment IVA Administrators     £16-25k (2015 £16-25k)

IVA Team Leaders      £25-30k (2015 £25-30k)

IVA Managers / Senior Managers      £30-50k (2015 £30-50k)

IVA IPs     £70k+ (2015 £65k+)

In summary, the biggest increases are at the lower end where there are shortages.  The further up the line the less demand there is for staff although IPs are slowly pushing up salary levels generally after many years of little movement.

GGT Insolvency Recruitment offer advice on recruitment at all levels and we can help guide you with salary levels when recruiting.  We also introduce IPs to merger and acquisition opportunities and can advise on the sale of practices.