Corporate equity derivatives professionals have recently been receiving 10 calls a day from headhunters

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If you’re having trouble recalling what it’s like to be pestered by headhunters bursting to place you in an incredibly exciting new opportunity, you probably don’t work in corporate equity derivatives.

Ever since Bloomberg wrote an article last Wednesday claiming that corporate equity derivatives are the new, new thing, headhunters have apparently been all over the market like contagious dermatitis.

“It’s all spun out of control since that Bloomberg article,” says one veteran equity derivatives headhunter in London. “A lot of recruiters read it and decided corporate equity derivatives are the Holy Grail. Professionals in the market are telling us they’ve suddenly been getting calls from 10 headhunters a day, all calling and saying, “I’ve got a new job for you…”

Unfortunately, as with the Holy Grail, the new jobs could prove strangely illusory. Corporate equity derivatives businesses may be a bit busy, but they’re certainly not doing much hiring.

Even Bloomberg intimated as much. Buried amongst its claims of $2bn in annual fees and a, ‘secretive market that has defied the global downturn,’ were some hard numbers suggesting banks might want to hire…5 people to their corporate equity derivatives teams this year.

Specifically: Bank of America said it may want to hire another two people in London; Morgan Stanley said it might hire another one or two later in the year; Nomura said it might want to hire another one person in London soonish.

“There’s really not much going on in terms of corporate equity derivatives hiring,” says Jason Kennedy CEO of recruitment firm The Kennedy Group. “To say otherwise is rubbish. Nothing outside the usual is going on.”

Nevertheless, corporate equity derivatives professionals are apparently more than happy to be receiving all this attention. “If anything, the Bloomberg article was symptomatic of the fact that there’s not much going on and corporate equity derivatives professionals are worried about their headcount. It’s helped boost their importance,” says one headhunter.

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