While no one can predict the future, it's still possible to examine banks’ activities and performance and read the tea leaves to figure out which roles are likely to be best at Wall Street banks in 2018.
Our verdict is as follows. If you could work in any role on Wall Street next year, you should choose one of the following:
Wall Street is undergoing a technological transformation that will continue throughout 2018. Some banks have decided to stop using outside fintech vendors or scale back their dependence on them and start hiring tech-savvy people internally.
Roles focusing on innovative, disruptive technologies are on the list of what every Wall Street firm plans to invest in as a hiring priority for 2018, according to Jeanne Branthover, a partner at recruitment firm DHR International.
“Artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital, mobile, the cloud and cybersecurity are all areas where banks will be hiring in leadership roles, as well as continuing to build both internally and externally focused technology teams under them, from building trading systems to analyzing data and communicating with clients,” Branthover says. “Hiring will continue on Wall Street in all areas of technology, including data scientists, developers, quants, product specialists, search scientists and software engineers."
Banks are lining up CTOs and CIOs, says Branthover. In addition: “The next level is going to be the head of trading systems, someone who heads up the cloud, web, mobile apps and other specialties within tech, and then the people on their teams, mainly C++, Java, Hadoop and Python developers."
OK, so they're not actually on Wall Street but they are at Wall Street banks. Big banks are ramping up their recruitment of middle-market deal-makers to capitalize on the growing revenue stream in that business. However, the reverse is also true, with middle-market banks looking to expand into bulge-bracket banks’ historical areas of strength.
Paul Webster, managing director and the head of Page Executive North America at Michael Page, says that one of the biggest strategic changes he has seen in the industry over the last five years is firms previously perceived as middle-market banks encroaching into the markets that the very large investment banks have traditionally dominated.
Examples include Key Bank, PNC Bank and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, firms that have traditionally focused more on middle-market lending. Many of them are headquartered outside of New York so they are less well-known on Wall Street, but they are hiring. Webster says mid-market bankers are hiring across syndicated loans, leveraged finance and M&A. At the same time, pension funds, asset managers and private equity funds are themselves funding leveraged finance deals – and hiring bankers to help with this.
U.S. investment banking revenue increased 6% year-over-year to set an annual record high of $38.4bn in 2017 fueled by a 30% increase in ECM revenue, up to $6.1bn, and record high revenues from DCM, up to $9.7bn, according to Dealogic. This suggests banks’ could be in the mood for ECM hiring in 2018.
So which banks are most likely to be hiring in this area on Wall Street next year? The following is Dealogic’s U.S. ECM revenue leaderboard for this year:
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