Financial services recruiters quietly opting for administration

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Unlike investment banks, financial services recruitment firms falling into financial difficulties are not eligible for government bailouts. When the crunch comes, some are therefore opting for a more accessible form of salvation: pre-packs.

Pre-pack administrations allow owners of existing businesses to form a new company which buys the assets of the old company from the liquidator. The new company usually has a similar, but slightly different name.

Financial services search firms which have gone down this route include the likes of Napier Scott Search (formerly known as Napier Scott Executive Search).

Many of the employees of Marshall Warburton have also reemerged at a new company called MW Search, although a pre-pack administration was not involved.

Are more name changes on the cards? Maybe not. One senior financial recruitment executive says the industry has now bottomed out, something that Robert Morton, a recruitment industry analyst at Investec agrees with.

Rather than pre-packs, the anonymous senior executive predicts that mergers such as the putative combination of Korn/Ferry and Whitehead Mann will characterise the next stage of the cycle.

He also predicts an eruption of one man bands as unemployed search consultants billing <100k set up in their bedrooms.

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