Who's hiring in equities?

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All is not totally well in the world of equities.

According to Thomson Extel, trading commissions are down 40% year on year, and the Financial Times says pay for equity researchers is down 50% (although the same could probably be said of most other areas). Dresdner Kleinwort has erased its entire UK equities business, and even Collins Stewart, which was still expanding until relatively recently, is now pulling back.

However, there is hope. According to market rumour and idle gossip, the following institutions are hiring.

Barclays Capital: We all know about this and we have already expressed some doubts, but we have it on reliable authority that BarCap really is hiring in cash equities and that some big name recruits will be announced shortly.

Evolution Securities: It's just announced a joint venture in China, but London-based equities recruiters say Evolution is hiring equities people in the City too. This is totally unconfirmed by the bank itself.

Credit Suisse: Late last year, Bloomberg reported that Credit Suisse was hiring in equity derivatives. According to headhunters it is also still hiring in cash equities.

ICAP: It emerged this week that ICAP had poached four senior people from UBS's portfolio trading team and an ED from Morgan Stanley after hiring the former head of dealing at JPMorgan Asset Management. ICAP is said to be hiring still, with an emphasis on electronic execution. GFI may also be looking.

UBS: Said to be hiring 'selectively.' "They need to totally rebuild their portfolio trading platform having lost four senior people [to ICAP]," says headhunter. "The rumour is that they're going to hire a senior portfolio trader let go from Morgan Stanley at the end of last year."

Execution: The full service agency broker launched an electronic trading platform this week. Headhunters say it is also hiring across cash equities.