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You WILL get rehired

Or at least some of you will (probably). Although quite a few investment banks aren’t hiring and some no longer exist at all, opportunistic recruiting is apparently in evidence among banks that remain going concerns.

“JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche, Goldman and the Japanese houses are all hiring,” says a headhunter at one of the top financial services firms in London. “Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and UBS aren’t.”

Disconsolate Lehman Brothers bankers can at least draw solace from the fact that their bank went under in the third quarter rather than the first. Fortunately for them, anyone still in employment at this time of year will only move if their bonus is bought out, which won’t happen in the current climate. Competition for jobs is reduced as a result.

“We have clients that want to hire, but thought they’d have to wait until next year because they don’t want to buy out bonuses,” says Bruce Lock at Kinsey Allen. “Most of the guys I talk to at Lehman have three or four interviews lined up already.”

Michael Karp, chief executive of search firm Options Group, confirms the rosy picture. “We’ve seen a lot of activity at some European institutions, hedge funds and investment management firms,” he says. “Good people are being picked up right, left and centre.”

What about the vast bulk of people that are merely mediocre? Here, recruiters and headhunters are a little less effusive. Karp, for example, won’t be drawn on precisely what proportion of Lehman bankers he thinks are likely to get re-housed.

“Firms definitely say they’re recruiting, but it’s difficult to say who’s recruiting genuinely,” admits Alex Andrea-Jones at Finance Professionals. “Half of the top global investment banks are still hiring, but the only hires they are making are critical ones and they will go through a rigorous process to establish whether this is the case.”

Comments (34)

  1. Lehman bankers have already got 3 or 4 interviews. Yeah right.

  2. Some may get re-hired, but most won’t. Financial Services is going through a blood letting and the old truisms don’t matter anymore. Watch the smaller banks seize market share and position themselves for the uptick. The large banks fought each other and they all lost. When the spivs and carpet baggers finally leave the Square Mile, then we might start to see the new model emerging. There will be a need for fundamental change and reorganisation, as there will be a flurry of new compliance – get used to saying Basel III. The problem will be that change people can transfer their skills to other industries – watch for the Derivative specialists programming for British Aerospace. Question is – who much will the industry have to pay to get them back in 18 months? The regulators are growing teeth and they won’t care how much it costs the Banks.

  3. I believe it. They can get really good guys now on the cheap. The downside is no one will have any loyalty to said company and will go through trading places when the economy picks up again.

  4. There are 4000 people out of a job at Lehman in the UK alone. Sarah, do the maths – Most Lehman Bankers are in hot soup, and there are certainly not nearly enough jobs in the market to rehouse these poor chaps in the near future.

  5. poor?
    Lehman Bankers are from it..

    Glad I got out of IB Reply
  6. The market is SATURATED with bankers. Ignoring the major culls in the last months we now have DRKW, LEH, ML and Bear bankers on the market.

    To think times are good is pretty daft.

  7. The quality of the articles on this site has been going down. Maybe they can hire some Lehman guys. They should have at least a few good stories to tell.

  8. The market’s flooded with bodies. Getting rehired in something like retail maybe. But not banking. Some 40% of our GDP is in financial services I don’t know but I think that’s more than any other so-called rich nation. This is unsustainable – a bubble, basically.

    Those with cash to burn can spend it on hols in Barbados but most will be in panic mode. We’ve been living the dream for 10-ish years – kids in private schools, expensive shopping trips, posh cars – all on the back of ‘there’s no boom or bust culture’.

  9. Im calling BS on this article

  10. Surely it would make sense for 2nd and 3rd tier banks to fire their inferior quality people and replace them with former Lehman bankers?

  11. Why would 2nd & 3rd tier banks hire Lehman bankers, if they did those Lehman guys would simply bring them down too

  12. I think Henry’s trying to be the Simon Cowell of these posts

  13. Henry, why pay out a redundancy package for an unknown from Lehman’s? How can you tell that the new hire is “better” than the established employee you’ve just paid to get rid of ? Sure, the “Pop Star” LB employees might get some interest, but why would any Bank target LB employees who have just had their lives dumped in front of them? I would prefer to take on less damaged people. Please stop posting your infantile ramblings on this site and let the grown ups discuss things properly. You will learn a thing or two.

  14. I cannot take this ite serious anymore.

    Sarah, pls just leave it. i thought nobody wants to leave LEH.. i would thought you would write they want to sit for another 2 years as they are so loyal..

    3 to 4 interviews after 4 hours?? easy to find a job..?? Do you really know how many decent jobs are out there..

    i know personally top guys which had to leave ML, MS and other places at least LEH quality, on the outlook since 5 – 6 months.. there is nothing out there.. don’t you see the world is going under in the US parctically.. we run a US real estate book.. you do not even want to think about it.. the country

  15. Wizard, firstly redundancy packages don’t need to be that expensive – a few months of base salary and no bonus is the minimum required, I hate companies needlessly giving redundant employees portions of their bonus pro-rata et al. Secondly, I have no doubt whatsoever that Lehman bankers would do the job better than 2nd/3rd tier bankers. The quality of people in some banks is so awful – people from lower-ranked universities, not as good looking / good background, Lehman bankers could largely come in, take over and do a better job. Its not like they’re emotional wrecks, nearly all are handling this perfectly and will do great in their next job. A worthwhile investment to kick out inferior people and replace them with Lehman bankers in a 2nd tier shop.

  16. I feel very sorry for all the people who were let go at Lehmans in London but why would people from 2nd and 3rd tier banks be inferior to Lehman people when they weren’t able to make enough money just to keep the business afloat.

  17. Don’t panic. The trouble is most people start spinning on the spot. My advice to the people who have found themselves without a job in the last 24hrs is to sit down a calmly look at there situation and start making a plan. Make a list of contacts etc,. Wwork out a timeline for things to do, talk to someone who knows the market and write a decent resume, I am amazed how bad some people are at writing a CV.
    There is mileage in hooking up with a decent advisor who can help with this process. (Sorry that looks like advertising). There is help out there and it often helps to have someone to talk to.

  18. I hate to say it but I sort of agree with Henry. Once the 2nd/3rd tier banks do a cull later this year, they may be able to pick up some quality people from LEH/ML etc
    Banks like HSBC will have cash for this sort of thing – they like buying up bankers to pretend they have a clue (which they don’t, in M&A – clearly they’re doing a lot better than others elsewhere!!)

  19. Though employed by Wall Street firms in NY since the 80’s, my lifestyle has always been within my means. Not sure where to turn this go round to reinvent myself since my entire prof history has been w/Merrrill Lynch, UBS & Credit Suisse — all in NO HIRE mode. Any insight for a US colleague???

  20. Wow

    As a non financial services person stumbling on your comments has amazed me. In my humble opinion (management consultant) the financial services industry deserves this. Those of us who have brought overpiced homes, and indulged in consumer spending like addicts, also deserve it. This is a correction in the system. I agree with the guy who said people will be taking their banking skills to British Aerospace. Over the last 15 years all you financial and modelling wizards have run to the City like refugees seeking shelter, what about the sciences? engineering? medicine? I gues none of this stuff pays enough. And so there it is; our greed has got the better of us and now we will all suffer.

    All these methods (sub prime, short selling etc) should have been regulated – I am no communist, but boy do I see the benefit of an intelligent (I stress intelligent rather than the current idiots both here and in the USA) government regulating markets, rather than letting hawks take free reign…


  21. All this talk of getting hired and rehired at other shops (i-banks).

    People need to WAKE UP here!!!!

    Are any of you actually following the news? The business model of invesment banking we have know since 1997 IS GONE. A new Square Mile / Wall Street will emerge – one that does not have so many different front office specialists. Products offered by banks will be a lot less. it’s already happening. What this means is that for a lot, and I mean A LOT of people will have to leave high finance and think about doing something else.

  22. We are all sorry for LB and ML, sure, since in a way or another it hurts all of us well.

    For CF professionals EMEA and most of asia is not hiring, so one might either try south america or continental europe.
    Alternatively try consulting, as long as you can, and join a restructuring unit, however those guys will stop hiring pretty soon as well…

  23. I have been working in M&A over the past 4 years. And all this time I just felt trapped by my own ambition (rather than greed). I have not been living a happy and balanced life over this period.

    The current mess in the market simply brought me and a lot of my colleagues back to planet Earth. I am asking myself, why I am actually doing this crap and why I have sacrificed so much. It can all vanish so quickly, as we are all witnessing. I am only waiting for my bonus in Feb. and then I am gone with the wind. Will take a break and perform a job that contributes to society right after that.

    And that’s exactly what I would be doing if I was at LEH right now, rather than sending CVs out for the next trap. However I feel with all the people that are financially tied with expensive mortgages or expensive wives.

    Investment Banking is dead…..long live Investment Banking!

  24. hi there, i work for one for the Firms that are supposedly hiring… I have been asked by Senior Management to interview all people that do something remotely close to what I am covering, and milk them for how they did trades, where they were placing the risk, clients etc…

  25. Henry – your inexperience shines through. you don’t know anything it’s cringe-worthy reading your detritus
    no one gets pro rata’ed bonuses as part of redundancy packkages – it’s a myth
    People do get their retained bonus paid out usually though. This is what makes them expensive to remove, and why, ignoring who is better, it’s not worth dumping these guys in favour of lehman people.

  26. In line with most banks in recent years Lehman has increased the stock element in bonus packages. All that has been lost. Doesn’t this just show the unfairness of awarding bank stock as part of remuneration? All the risk lies with the employees. Time to abandon this cynical ploy and pay people properly, in cash, for the contribution they have made.

  27. “….or expensive wives. ”

    Why oh why do you guys always fall for the pretty ‘sex-mad’ babe you meet, only to find out she was giving all that ‘good stuff’ in exchange for the status derived from your salaries.


  28. Nice one Sarah, really good article as ever!

  29. Henry, the top quality people at Lehman made the company bankrupt….surely a lot of 2nd and third tier banks are anxious to hire these people so they can go down the drain too….

  30. Jake, I’d much rather have a pretty ‘sex-mad’ babe that I deserve due to my status (Vice President at an investment bank sounds good doesn’t it, they don’t …) than a fat ugly person half this idiot nation have to end up with.

  31. Tut Tut, how shallow Henry…..

    ” Vice President at an investment bank sounds good doesn’t it ”

    They’ve really fooled you with their inflated titles haven’t they? It almost makes it sound like you’re running the bank, doesn’t it..?

    The really successful people don’t care what title they have. It’s more about the money they earn and the value they add.

  32. ” Vice President at an investment bank sounds good doesn’t it ”

    Not right now it doesn’t… maybe that’s how you manage to find so much time to write your BS comments all over a CAREERS website, you sad delusional little boy.

    a really really important person I think Reply
  33. Tarquin – Henry doesn’t even work in a bank!
    God knows where he does work – he just watched Wall Street too much as a kid and never got a place anywhere so likes to live in his own little fantasy land

  34. There is going to be an influx of job seekers into other sectors. This is not good for us all. Competition for jobs in all sectors will be at its highest now.

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