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Eight investment banks talking up recruitment opportunities now

Even after a good first half, no bank is sticking its head above the parapet to speak of huge hiring sprees. However, if you know where to look there are ‘pockets’ of hiring, with some investment banks focusing on bulking up particular divisions. Here are eight banks currently hiring.

Who?: HSBC
Where?: Equity capital markets and corporate broking in the UK.
Why?: Since bringing in Adrian Lewis to lead the division from UBS at the end of the month, the bank has decided to bulk up in DCM, with both Samir Assaf, chief executive of global banking and markets, and CEO Stuart Gulliver supporting the expansion. Part of this may be down to catch up, as HSBC has missed out on some lucrative rights issues in the FIG space, notably Barclays’ £5.8bn rights issue.

Who?: UBS
Where?: Financial services investment banking in the Americas
Why?: Again, a shake-up at the top has led to plans to hire lower down the ranks. Earlier this month, Steve Pierson joined from Credit Suisse as global head of financial technology and services. Steve Cummings, head of Americas investment banking for UBS said that “financial services is a global priority for us” and more hires were planned in this area.

Who?: Rothschild
Where?: M&A in the U.S.
Why?: It appears to be indulging in a spot of opportunistic hiring for investment bankers currently disillusioned by compensation squeezes and strategy shake-ups at Barclays. Over the past few months, James Ben, Peter “P.J.” Moses and David Baron have all departed for Rothschild.

Who?: Jefferies
Where?: High yield, event-driven trading, consumer investment banking
Why?: Why do so many bankers in bulge bracket institutions join Jefferies? Well, it’s hiring while the big players are firing – headcount has increased by 70% to 3,800 since 2006 – and it’s also among the highest payers. While recruitment may have slowed at the bank, the gravitation of bankers away from the large institution continues – it’s one of many banks bolstering its high yield desk in London, has swayed MDs away from Citigroup in Asia for its event-driven trading desk, and has been adding senior investment bankers from larger rivals for consumer and industrials.

Who?: Morgan Stanley
Where?: Equities and fixed income sales
Why?: Morgan Stanley has been keen to big up performance in its equity trading team, revenues in which increased to $1.8bn in the second quarter, and has brought in Jason Mackay, a former GLG trader, as a managing director as it prepares for a pick-up in European equities, according to Financial News. However, it’s also been quietly building its FICC sales and trading team, having hired Simon Bruegger from J.P. Morgan for emerging markets fixed income sales, Thomas Coughlan as a commodities futures and options trader (again, from J.P. Morgan), and Stephane Godard as a sales trader in the past month. Despite unveiling 1,600 cuts for the second year running in January, headcount has actually increased by 5% in London over the past 12 months, according to figures tracked by corporate finance boutique Imas.

Who?: J.P. Morgan
Where?: Prime Broking
Why?: Prime broking may not be a particularly glamorous sector, but it’s one that’s surviving the cost-cutting at J.P. Morgan. Having brought in David Clarkson from Credit Suisse in November last year to lead its EMEA prime broking business, J.P. Morgan has been selectively plucking talent from other banks, notably John Delaney, who spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs. It’s also hired David Leahy to lead its prime brokerage sales operation in Asia as it looks to expand in the region.

Who?: Goldman Sachs
Where?: FX
Why?: More banks are seeking a bigger share of the market in FX to take advantage of the surge in trading volumes this year and a more favourable regulatory environment. Goldman is attempting to wrestle market share from its rivals by poaching talent. It’s taken on Daniel Dooling and Seif Karam in FX sales from Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan respectively, and Ben Jordan as an FX options trader from Citi. This follows the recruitment of Catherine Rich as institutional sales director from Deutsche Bank in March.

Who?: Deutsche Bank
Where?: South Africa, Australia and Thailand
Why?: If senior recruits can be considered a sign that hiring is about to take place lower down the ranks, then look to Deutsche Bank – at least outside of the major financial centres. In the past month it’s named James McMurdo as its new Australian CEO from Goldman Sachs in London and described the region as a “key growth market for Deutsche Bank”. It’s also named Peter Wharton-Hood to lead its South African operation, and Phumchai Kambhato as head of corporate banking and securities in Thailand as it looks to expand in the country.

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