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No let-up in demand for M&A juniors

Forget the credit crunch, pitchbook jockeys are still hot.

Steven Harker, CEO of Morgan Stanley Australia, says, “Junior M&A positions? Yes, we are still all hiring. The value of the market is down, but not the activity.”

This time last year, hiring in M&A would hardly have been surprising. Rising M&A activity meant the analysts and associates who devote their time to assembling pitchbooks used to win deals were in big demand. In 2007, for example, Australian M&A volumes doubled to US$406bn (AU$437bn), according to Thomson Financial.

More recently, however, Australia’s M&A market has looked like running out of fizz. According to the Business Spectator, January was the slowest month for Aussie M&A for the past two years.

Despite this, recruiters and bankers share Harker’s optimism – the market may be slowing, but M&A hiring isn’t. Victoria Biggs at JM Search says banks in Australia haven’t over-hired in the past few years and there are still gaps to fill.

Sally Kincaid, head of HR at Citi, agrees; “There is no drop off at all, even at that [the junior] level.”

Scott Alomes, head of business units HR at Commonwealth Bank Australia, says that if anything, competition for junior banking talent has increased: “So many graduates go overseas that banks always need juniors with some experience.”

How much can you earn assembling pitchbooks 10 hours a day? Chris Mamas at recruiter Select Personnel, says the pay’s anywhere from AU$80k to AU$120k depending on the firm, with 15-30% bonuses.

Comments (10)

  1. 15%-30% bonus? you’ve got to be kidding me…

  2. It does say “10 hours a day” which would suggest a good tradeoff

  3. haha 15-30% bonus do you think I would do this for that!!!!! 10 hours a day as well geez, efinancialcareers shows just how informed their editors are yet again, try 15 hours…

  4. Even as an Analyst 1 at a European or US Investment Bank you would be looking at a much higher bonus % than that. Not sure where that figure came from…

  5. Are the bonus ranges typically 80-100% for top-tier M&A?

  6. Is anybody looking for Associate role, I am happy to fulfill my career aspiration by working for invest bank and M&A in particular.

  7. Ok, we’ve checked the bonus figures in the article with another more front office focused search firm, and (guess what) turns out they’re wrong. Bonuses for junior M&A people are more like 80% of salaries. Expect to work a 15 hour day.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  8. Thats about right..

  9. C’mon, Sarah, you’ve fingered Select, now you have to name your new source ! Could be you asked Select the wrong question? (I have no link to them either – we all just want a fair game).

  10. The new source was JM Search. I didn’t write the original article, so unfortunately can’t say precisely what was asked…

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply

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