JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs maintain a stranglehold on the vast majority of investment banking business areas in the first half of 2014, so if you’re considering where the relative safety of your job is, or where new opportunities might occur, these firms seem like the obvious choices.
Aside from cash equities and equity capital markets, JPMorgan is among the top three investment banks globally within the all the business areas in which it operates, according to new data from research firm Coalition (click on the tables below for a more defined version). Goldman Sachs has a similar profile of dominance, although its strengths lie more in advisory and equity markets than across the full gamut of fixed income currencies and commodities.
Both globally and regionally, however, the picture is not nearly so clear cut. Morgan Stanley, for instance, has – relatively speaking – had a great first half of 2014. It’s the only bank to make it among the two strongest performers across FICC, equities and IBD compared to the first half of 2013. Meanwhile, UBS has made strides in its advisory business, Deutsche Bank has become more dominant in the floundering FICC markets and BNP Paribas has improved across fixed income and investment banking.
Again, though, if you drill down regionally, you may wish to reassess your choice of employer. Deutsche Bank has been imperious in EMEA and Asia, while Morgan Stanley has been improving across most business areas within the US and the UK and Credit Suisse’s Asian revenues have been taking off.
If you want to work in America, you really need to work for one of the large investment banks, however. Elsewhere in the world, it’s more of a level playing field.
All of this has to be framed within the context of where investment banking revenues are tumbling and where they're on the up. Figures from Coalition released last month suggest that FICC jobs are still being annihilated globally, with FX, G10 rates and emerging markets trading jobs doing particularly badly. Commodities - to which only JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have remained steadfastly committed and have actually been hiring - is doing well again, while prime services and equity capital markets are very hot indeed.