Equities hiring hotter than at any time in living memory

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Fixed income trading made all the headlines in the first quarter, but equities is shaping up as the place to be for the rest of the year.

According to headhunters, cash equities recruitment is now so feverish that 2006 and 2007 look tepid by comparison. "This is the most fluid hiring market I've seen for eight years," says Alex Williams at search firm Pelham International. "There's still a lot of recruitment going on, and it's happening later in the year than it usually does."

"We're seeing a high level of hiring across the board and astronomical numbers given in guarantees," confirms another equities headhunter.

The excitement around equities is being generated by banks like BarCap and UniCredit, as well as brokerage houses like Icap, Evolution and Execution.

"There's an element of desperation," says one headhunter. "Hiring banks are trying to pull people out before we get too much further into the year, and banks are becoming much more aggressive about trying to retain people.

"They're offering packages that compare to 2007."

In a research note out today, Credit Suisse analysts predict that Deutsche Bank's Q2 results will show revenues from equities sales and trading doubling in the second quarter compared to the first, and that its ECM revenues will have risen 70%.