For quite a long time now there hasn't been very much to do, particularly if you work in M&A. In the first half of the year, European M&A volumes were down 68% according to Mergermarket. In the past few weeks, however, things seem to have picked up.
Viswas Raghavan, head of international capital markets at JPMorgan, made promising references to a, "wall of liquidity in every asset class," in European capital markets, which he said could lead to more M&A later in the year.
Equally, Hernan Cristerna, JPMorgan's EMEA head of M&A spoke of the pipeline gather "good momentum" over the previous six to eight weeks.
Less promisingly, the resumption of activity seems to be making itself felt in working hours. "It's picked up a lot over the past two weeks," says one M&A analyst. "By Thursday last week I'd already worked 70 hours. There's always a rush in the summer as everyone tries to fit in meetings before they go on holiday."
"In the first few months of the year people had a lot more flexibility," says one recruiter specializing in analysts and associates. "People were leaving at half past six or seven, or coming in later if they worked late. Now they're pushing it again."
Relentless working conditions are nothing new, even for senior staff. Mike Marriot, former head of the structured products business at Credit Suisse, turned soft rocker, complained that he worked 38 days without a break.