Private banks are still hiring. And they want global markets professionals

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Private banker of the old school

Private banker of the old school

Investment banks may be stagnating and sitting on their hands, but private banks are growing and doing a little hiring.

Even better, private banks are quite keen on hiring people with specific experience from investment banks.

“There’s a reasonably buoyant feel to the market overall,” says Ian Hassett, former head of Citigroup’s private bank in Northern Europe and London partner of wealth management headhunting firm Lockwood Gibb Associates. “Hiring is not back to the levels of 2008, but there are a number of banks looking to recruit.”

Christian Sulger Buel of Sulger Buel & Company, another wealth management headhunting firm, agrees that hiring is still happening. “There are a lot of private banks that are still healthy and have the resources to recruit during 2012,” he tells us.

Who are these banks? Think RBC, Berenberg, Barclays Wealth, or Bank Sarasin & Cie. Financial News also points to BNY Mellon, or Scottish-based (and RBS owned) Adam & Company, which recently hired a new head of investment and products.

While private banking recruitment is generally buoyant, Hasset points to especially inflated demand for wealth managers to work with East European clients, many of them based in London.

Historically, M&A bankers have fancied themselves as wealth management professionals, but Hasset says the more mutable skillset comes from global markets desks.

“People from structured solutions teams within capital markets businesses tend to be very good and delivering customized solutions to ultra high net worth private individuals with very complex requirements,” he says.

“Often they are routinely speaking to substantial entrepreneurs on a daily basis in their global markets role, and can find it very easy to make the transition to wealth management,” Hassett adds.