Hiring hotspots in the second half

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Now that Midsummer's day has been and gone, we're officially in the second half of the year. There's not usually much hiring in the third quarter, but things look a lot better than they did six months ago and some areas are actually adding headcount. They are -

1). Fixed income flow sales

Smaller houses are flowing into fixed income flow trading. Collins Stewart, Evolution, Mint, Panmure Gordon, Newedge, and Conduit Capital markets are all said to be engaged in, or thinking hard about engaging in, recruitment.

"At the moment there's a bubble on credit sales," says Jason Kennedy at recruiters Kennedy Associates. "People are trying to max that business before banks come back in and take it over."

"The demand is all in sales," says Lee Thacker at search firm Silvermine Partners. "A lot of trading desks weren't cut as aggressively as the sales force and banks are now taking a lot less prop risk, so the emphasis is on rebuilding sales teams."

2). Convertibles

Convertibles teams were decimated after issuance collapsed in 2008. In May this year, Financial News estimated that 80% of convertible bond traders had lost their jobs.

Now, however, convertibles are coming back. According to The Times, Antoine de Guillenchmidt, head of UK equity capital markets at Morgan Stanley, is predicting $10bn of issuance by British companies in 2009. Headhunters saying hiring is inevitable: "Banks overcut so will need to build up," says Thacker.

3). ECM

Last week, Viswas Raghavan, head of capital markets at JPMorgan, told Reuters the bank is "bracing itself" for the next IPO wave, expected to start as soon as the fourth quarter.

Headhunters say there's not much going on in terms of ECM recruitment yet, but that the fourth quarter is likely to be busy as banks line up hires for 2010.

"Jim Renwick will arrive at Barclays Capital around September and we're expecting him to start building a team as soon as he arrives," says one.

4). Cash equities

Cash equities has been strong for much of the first half, and is likely to continue in the same vein. "It's mainly research and sales," says one equities headhunter. "Barclays Capital are creating a situation of musical chairs. There just aren't enough people to go around."

Yesterday, Financial News reported that HSBC and RBS are also building in cash equities.