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Where the hiring is

In the midst of the crisis, some sectors of financial services are still functioning. They may not be hiring in a wholesale manner, but they’re still hiring in a retail fashion and are picking up handfuls of people from Lehman. They are…

Commodities: When Morgan Stanley announced its 3Q results earlier this week it highlighted commodities as one of the major revenue drivers during the last quarter. Predictably, commodity headhunters say there’s very little in the way of commodities hiring going on at US investment banks, but that utilities, oil majors, and big commodity trading houses are picking people up. Carbon trading is also hot, but not necessarily easy to get into. “There’s a huge amount of growth in carbon trading,” says Jakob Bloch at Commodity Appointments. “But it’s populated by professionals that have established credentials in that market.”

Hedge funds: Start-up hedge funds are being hit hard by the crisis, but bigger houses like GLG Partners and Citadel have been hiring. Hedge fund headhunter David Durham, of Durham Consultants, says hedge funds are picking people up from Lehman and elsewhere. Prop traders and analysts are most likely to be lucky – particularly if they have any experience of working on financials or emerging markets like India and Latin America. Russia has fallen out of favour. (Why could this be?)

Prime brokerage (pb): As the sixth largest prime broker in Europe, and with a 38% year-on-year increase in revenues in its securities services division in Q1, Lehman wasn’t doing too badly in pb. Its clients have now gone elsewhere and, as of yesterday, Morgan Stanley’s are said to be getting cold feet, too. One pb headhunter says this is creating job opportunities at houses like Barclays and JPM which are picking up clients. He says the sought-after pb professionals are those with long experience who can bring hedge fund clients with them. Hiring numbers can generally be counted on one hand, though.

Infrastructure: Babcock & Brown and Macquarie are clearly having a few issues, but infrastructure headhunters are adamant that there’s still recruitment going on. “We’re doing quite a lot of work picking people up from Lehman,” says James Wakefield at Cobalt Recruitment. He says opportunities are still out there for people from infrastructure teams in banks, as well as people from M&A and corporate finance who’ve been advising on equity fund raising.

Private equity: Private equity is still hiring, albeit in extreme moderation. “Funds are interested in people with experience in infrastructure, renewables, energy, utilities or financials,” says one headhunter who declined to give his name for fear of being inundated with CVs.

Comments (7)

  1. Poor GLG and Citadel. Every recruiter in London will be cold calling them after reading this!

  2. “David Durham of Durham Consultants says hedge funds are picking people up from Lehman and elsewhere”

    Insightful interviewees selected here as ever.

  3. “Extreme Moderation” – what an oxymoron!

  4. Well spotted! We’ve put a line through it…

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  5. To luckybegger – in a market environment where 97% of hedge funds have lost money this year, and where the common consequent assumption is that the hedge industry is deleveraging as quickly as the banking industry, many people have asked me about the appetite for people, assuming it to be poor. We have found that the demand for top quality talent has never been higher. The cream always rises to the top, and the best hedge funds are lapping it up.

  6. Wednesday, October 8, 2008
    Citadel Adds Three To Bond Team
    Citadel Investment Group has hired Timothy Bryan Wilkinson, John Alexander Goodridge and Alex Maddox as senior staffers joining its global fixed income business. Wilkinson and Goodridge join the proprietary trading group from Lehman Brothers.

  7. Cash is king – and those with it – be they hedge funds, private equity intermediaries or others are clearly in command. It is a contrarian paradise! There are funds waiting patiently to acquire distressed assets and who require seasoned professionals to assist them in a myriad of tasks, not the least of which is to answer the question,

    Walter L. Zweifler, ASA Reply

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