Lost your job in an investment bank and want to work on the buyside? You’ll be lucky.
The Financial Times ran an article yesterday which said that Pimco, the world’s biggest fixed income fund manager, has been approaching Wall Street banks that are making redundancies in the hope of hoovering up a few of their cast-offs.
But before anyone gets the wrong idea, moving from an investment bank to the buyside isn’t as easy as all that. Nor is it a particularly original notion.
“We’re getting a number of CVs from people who are trying to move from the sellside to the buyside,” says Samantha Donald at asset manager recruiters Shepherd Little. “But most of our clients are only interested in people with relevant fund management experience.”
Fraser Williams at search firm Kinsey Allen says he’s also seeing “an increasing number of people who’ve been working in banks and are looking for buyside opportunities”.
But like Shepherd Little’s Donald, he says bankers aren’t top of asset managers’ shopping lists: “Clients are interested in people from the banks due to their derivatives experience, however their lack of portfolio skills can hinder them from being hired.”
Last month’s study from the CBI and PwC found asset managers are among the few financial services employers still hiring. The FT says Pimco plans to add more than 275 people this year.
This isn’t the first time Pimco has hired from investment banks. Last October, it poached Vladyslav Putyatin , a director from Deutsche’s asset and liability management team.
“We have people joining us from banks all the time,” says one Pimco insider. “If there are people on the street who are innocent victims they may have skills that are still relevant to us in structured products and credit.”
But Tony Nangle, a fixed income fund manager at Baring Asset Management, says investment banking refugees are rare: “I have one colleague from a corporate bank, but he joined 10 years ago. If you’re a talented prop trader your best bet will be to join a hedge fund.”