Babcock & Brown's days as a properly functioning independent firm look numbered, but its top-level bankers will still be sought-after, if and when they join the employment market. Recruitment experts say that having B&B infrastructure experience on your CV might actually help land you a job.
Neil Dyball, the Sydney director of Robert Walters, says some B&B staff have already been in touch. On the employer side, the large domestic banks are looking to pick up bankers with infrastructure experience, he adds.
"Deal activity is down considerably as financing is difficult and therefore originators, other than those with first-class reputations, may struggle to find roles in the short term. The focus is now around managing existing portfolios, workouts and re-financing," says Dyball.
Ritchie and Associates Recruitment director Al Ritchie agrees that the Australian banks will look to cherry pick quality infrastructure bankers. "I don't believe the banks are ready to hire in droves and are more likely to take key personnel than whole teams," he says.
"If candidates have in their history a blend of financing and previous bank experience, this will help their cause," advises Ritchie, who also warns that making a move in the current climate could mean a salary cut. "But everything is negotiable. The banks are looking for value and people will have to accept different challenges in this cycle."
Alexandra Middleton from search firm Jon Michel says some of the smaller foreign institutions are willing to consider B&B bankers. "Some infrastructure teams at the smaller international banks have been less affected by the credit crunch and like to see candidates from i-banks, such as B&B and Macquarie, who come with a blend of legal, debt and advisory skills."