Recent statements from financial services recruitment firms have suggested that the job market is slowly improving, or at least showing some signs of activity once again. An interim statement from Michael Page has, however, reiterated that the situation is still tough.
Its banking division was a drag on profits on the UK operation, which shrunk by a relatively tiny 3.7% largely because of good performance in other sectors. Overall, the banking division posted a 50% year-on-year drop in profits and it’s becoming increasingly marginalised, accounting for just 5% of gross profit in the UK.
The UK banking sector is “particularly depressed” said Michael Page chief executive, Steve Ingham, and the recruitment market here is generally “very challenging and competitive”.
Not surprisingly, headcount at the recruiter has shrunk accordingly; nearly 100 fewer people work in Michael Page’s UK division than in the first quarter of 2011. Banking jobs also hit growth in Asia – Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo all felt the pinch, it said.
If you wanted to look for a positive in Europe, France and Germany (which are being touted as growth markets by some recruiters) stand out. Profit was up by 36% in Germany and 10% in France.
ABI issues ‘amber top’ warning over Bob Diamond’s bonus (Times)
The first quarter has been good for investment banks’ debt teams because of one thing: LTRO (Financial News)
“A lower revenue base, much tighter regulation and stubbornly high staff costs would push down investment banks’ average return on equity to 6.8 per cent from the next year onwards.” (Financial Times)
Another senior Goldman employee, Yoel Zaoui, the London-based global co-head of mergers and acquisitions, has departed. He will not be replaced. (Financial Times)
On Bruno Iksil: “I view the entire market as a chess match playing against this guy” (Wall Street Journal)
The 10 highest paid bankers in Europe (Financial News)
Credit Suisse has hired a new global head of corporate finance for its technology group (Bloomberg)
2,200 people have volunteered for redundancy at SocGen. It wants to cut 880. (Les Echos via Fox Business)
Investment bankers take “Wall Street-type disciplines” and apply them to wine investing (Bloomberg)
Do you need a private jet for ‘security’ reasons? Good news: it’s a tax break (Dealbook)