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Who’s still hiring traders?

Following on from last week’s inordinately popular article on who’s hiring investment bankers, here’s something similar for traders – who are arguably doing even worse when it comes to job opportunities right now, particularly if they’ve been trading prop.

As with the investment bankers, extracting information on hiring firms was like getting blood from a stone, but we’ve elicited the following generalizations, plus a few specifics. Needless to say, these are not comprehensive, so feel free to add any information you have on hirers below.

Global macro hedge funds

David Durham of Durham Consultants, a hedge fund recruiter, won’t say which global macro funds are hiring exactly, but he swears that many are.

We recommend trying: Citadel, which is in the process of raising a $2bn global macro fund; the Research Analysis Driven Absolute Returns (RADAR) fund, a new global macro fund sponsored by Barclays Capital; or Resurgam Capital Management, a new global macro fund set up by in February by ex-Bear Stearns trader Mark Ellis.

Equity long short traders aren’t wanted at all, says Durham: “I’ve got tons of CVs for equity long short stacked up in a corner.”

Separately, multi-strategy fund Millennium Global is also rumoured to be looking for staff.

Commodities trading houses

Commodities recruiters wouldn’t name names, but the head of commodities at one European bank says Glencore, Vitol, Trafigura and Noble are all hiring as usual.

Banks are still picking up commodities traders too. JPMorgan and BarCap are said to be hiring, Scotia recently recruited a 60 person team from UBS.

“Activity is pretty normal,” says the commodities head. “Last year a huge swathe of banks piled into the space. You don’t have that any more, but hiring hasn’t declined dramatically.”

FX businesses

Citigroup is looking for FX traders according to one London FX headhunter. CIBC is also thought to be in the market for additional FX muscle after bringing in Mark Sweeting from Unicredit in February. National Australia Bank is also rumoured to be interested in FX people, but apparently has yet to commit….

Infinity Capital markets

We reported that Infinity Capital markets was picking up traders back in September. It’s happening still.

Managing director Grant Ashton says they’ve hired 33 people so far, many of them ex-prop traders from investment banks, and are still open to bringing in more.

Interdealer brokers

Speaking on CNBC with Nouriel Roubini last week, Cantor’s Howard Lutnick kept returning to their ability to pick up top traders from banks in the current environment. It now transpires that Cantor is hiring 100 people for fixed income alone this year.

One London headhunter says rival interdealer brokers are picking up traders too.

Comments (27)

  1. I am seeking a skilled commodities trader (fruit & veg) trader. The role will initially be based in Walford, East London.

  2. I would be interested in that Ian

    Billy Mitchell Reply
  3. By the looks of things – so might Henry

    (Good morning Henry)

    on a relevant note – i have also been hearing rumours that CFD/spreadbet houses are hiring ‘traders’ although i doubt these are really trading (in the true essence) positions at all…

  4. vol_feeder makes a good point – The word trader is often used out of context, describing a sales trading/ execution role. Where as “real” trading involves managing risk & proprietary capital and we all know these roles are scarce, all be it not extinct.

    Consequently alot of people will need to take Ian up on his offer.

  5. Any notable activity in equities or derivatives?

  6. de la Vega – Credit Suisse is said to be hiring in equity derivatives, with Simon Yates interviewing a number of candidates in the past few weeks. Citigroup is also thought to be in the market for ED traders, having hired Stefanos Bitzakidis in February. BarCap are also interviewing heavily but apparently have yet to commit to anyone.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  7. Just a quick question (I’m not a finance person at all):
    Couldn’t prop traders leverage all their expertise and trade for themselves, from home? Or does successful trading require specific resources that only banks can provide?

  8. Ha ha with the current turmoil – would any trader hedge their OWN personal assets on their trading performance?

    I should think they would prefer to trade someone elses… ‘risk free’ and all…

  9. “Commodities recruiters wouldn’t name names”
    Could you name the commodity recruiters?
    Could you also, please, say what they are looking for? Sugar, grains, energy etc. It’s a bit like saying banks are hiring

  10. Commodities recruitment firms. Try –

    Human Capital
    Commodity Appointments

    Guy I spoke to was global head of all commodities. He didn’t specify products. I’ll check with him when I get a chance.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  11. Thank you, Sarah, for the agencies you mentioned

    The physical commodity arena, and the trading houses and hard things to find information on. Not the likes of Glencore, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus etc but some of the smaller, niche, players like Sucden. Last question for the day: where can I get my hards on a fairly good list of these firms? Not the banks but some of the privately owned ones?

  12. Johnrobert – have you tried looking at exchange websites? They usually publish a list of their members and all the niche players should be on there.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  13. Here’s the thing you see. Companies such as Bauche, Louis Dreyfus, Sucden (not Sucden Financial), and even some of the ones you mentioned like Trafigura are not members of the exchanges as they deal with the physical side. I suppose that if they were going to hedge or take speculative positions on paper markets they have relationships with banks. If it’s easier I could email you directly rather than boring the other readers with these posts.

  14. How can traders be out of work? If they make money then they are the bank’s salvation, aren’t they?

  15. Sara, can you name recruiting firms looking for FX traders ?

  16. Interesting article Sarah, thanks

    I assume that there is even less demand for junior (little to no experience in trading directly) roles ?

  17. Clyde – I don’t know if they’re actually hiring, but the people I’d usually speak to for FX (and these are mostly headhunters rather than recruiters) are –

    Principal Search
    Sheffield Haworth
    Michael Williams Associates (FX specialists)
    Options Group.

    And GV – yes there are even fewer/zero jobs for people with no experience. You’d need to get an internship and try to get in on the heavily pared back graduate schemes.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  18. hi maam sarah, based on your experience prior to the financial meltdown, did you know of a recruiter/s who actually hired a philippine base trader/technical analyst? be it fx, premetals,equities?
    many thanks.

    Hernan Segovia Reply
  19. I know that in Europe and Asia the Proprietary trading Groups are looking for good traders both on the discretionary and Algo side. We, at Saxon Financials have been actively looking and hiring ex-prop traders from the Investment banks.

  20. Do not intend to be discouraging, but commodity trading houses mentioned in the article and to some extent, smaller players, rarely hire fm open market / headhunters. More often than not they target people they know already and they want. Search firms saying that Houses are hiring are stating the obvious and often candidates are used by them as “baits” to check what sort of requirements trading firms may have. Banks are a better target. Good Luck anyway.

  21. Old Physical,

    Can I ask what it is you do and how you managed to get there? I understand you obviously needed to get your foot in the door but what was your method for getting that far?
    Thank you

  22. johnrobert,

    I am obviously a commodity trader. how i got there? “stumbled” almost accidentally into the job fm parallel business. how i did progress? making friends and being appreciated in the market .
    But not everyone gets in there the same way. best approach? try large companies first (eg the BP’s or the Rio Tinto’s etc, depending on the sector) and then move onto new positions once your name and skills are established.

  23. thanks Sara

  24. Totally agree with old physical.
    I stumbled into comm trdg just the same way.
    Started work in a bank’s analyst program, covered energy, metals and softs sector (did undewriting, structuring and sales).

  25. Colin Leeson ,

    Ah but that’s where the word ” trading ” becomes flexible.
    Most bank so called traders do very little direct trading – they have in built house advantages like frontrunning & market making. They just wait for sucker client and take an easy cut off them.
    Can’t really lose if you have ready made fools as most banks do, then again can’t really call them traders in the same vein as a PaulTudor Jones.

  26. You are right sir and the editor SHOULD make that distinction .

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