Want to know where the talent shortages are in investment banks now? You can always ask recruiters. You can always look around at where the empty chairs are. Or you can look at banks' own websites and pinpoint the jobs, or classes of jobs, that they've been advertising for ages.
To save you time, we've done the latter. Top U.S. investment banks may receive thousands and thousands of applications per entry-level job, but there are some experienced positions they can't seem to fill. If you want a job at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley or Citi, you may want to look at the opportunities listed below. They've been advertised for quite some time.
Everyone knows that the compliance advisory professionals who work with banks' revenue earners to ensure they're adhering to regulations whilst making as much money as possible, are well paid. Recruiters also say they're hard to come by, along with all sorts of other compliance staff nowadays.
Goldman Sachs suggests recruiters are right. The bank has been advertising for a VP for its London compliance division since August 2013. It's been looking for an associate/VP-level compliance tester since October 2013. And it's been looking for an associate/level fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) compliance professional since November.
Banks like HSBC and JPMorgan have been doing some heavy compliance hiring in the past twelve months. For the moment, there may not be enough compliance professionals to go around.
Do you have a Masters or PhD? Do you have programming expertise? Can you develop software tools to identify good hedge funds or alternative asset managers to invest in? Goldman Sachs wants you for its New York office. The firm has been advertising for analyst/associate/VP level strategists to work for its alternative investments and manager selection (AIMS) group since May 2013.
Recruiters claim that experienced analysts and associates are in big demand at investment banks this year. Banks simply didn't hire and train enough of them in 2009 and 2010, and restrictions on working hours for junior investment bankers are compounding the shortage. It doesn't help that the IPO market is booming and that there's optimism about M&A with transatlantic deals in particular suddenly taking off. Unsurprisingly, experienced analysts and associates are hotter than they have been for a while.
JPMorgan is among the banks with an apparent appetite for hiring junior IBD staff. The US bank has been advertising for an experienced financial institutions group analyst in New York since January 2014. It's also been on the look out for an investment banking analyst in Hong Kong and an insurance-focused associate in New York since around the same date. In London, it's been advertising for an associate to join its French leveraged finance team since January 27th of this year.
Equity researchers are not necessarily hard to come by. However, equity researchers who are willing to work in investment banks are rarer than they used to be. As we reported back in March, equity researchers in investment banks are coming to the conclusion that 11 and 12 hour days for £150k ($247k) are just not worth it. Hedge funds offer more money, and equity researchers are opting to work on the buy-side instead.
The shortage of equity researchers seems to be an issue for Morgan Stanley. The US bank has been advertising for a luxury goods research analyst in London since April 2013. It's been advertising for a senior autos analyst since last August. It's also been looking for a junior economist to join its London equity research team since September.
Morgan Stanley has become a big success story in equities sales and trading. In each of the past three quarters, the U.S. bank has earned the highest revenues of any U.S. bank in equities sales and trading globally, displacing Goldman Sachs as the leader.
However, Morgan Stanley's job advertisements suggest it's having trouble recruiting for some positions on its New York-based equities systematic trading desk. It's been advertising for an associate to work in systematic trading operations (monitoring large portfolio trades, monitoring risk etc.) since September 2013. And it's been advertising for a developer to work on its US systematic trading desk since....November 2012.
Recruiters tell us that anything to do with electronic trading is hot. Banks are trying to automate trading processes as much as possible and to capture trading flows by pushing clients onto electronic trading systems. FX algo trading is already well-developed: 74% of all FX trading took place electronically in 2013 according to research company Greenwich Associates.
Citi is one of the dominant banks in eFX trading. It had an overall FX trading market share of 14.9% last year according to Euromoney, making it second only to Deutsche Bank. Nonetheless, the U.S bank has been advertising for an experienced algo trader (preferably with a PhD) to join its New York-based FX autotrader business since November 2013.