In these times of job drought, the news that somewhere wants to hire 1,000 people should be sufficient to drown out some concerns about the financial services labour market.
Now Cantor says it wants to hire another 800 people in the coming years, in addition to February’s 200.
Who will these people be?
Investment bankers as opposed to salespeople and traders. In February, Cantor said the 200 hires would be for its M&A and capital markets business, for which it was seeking: “world-class,” “enormously capable,” “tremendously talented,” bankers.
The 800 supplementary hires announced today will also be for the investment banking business, and for asset managerment, says Bloomberg. South America and Eastern Europe are areas of focus. Shawn Matthews, Cantor’s chief executive, said earlier this month that there’s an opportunity to push into emerging markets as second tier banks pull out and revert to their historical status as commercial banks. Cantor’s European offices are currently restricted to London, Paris, Geneva, Milan, and Tel Aviv.
If you’re looking for a job and have been a victim of retrenchment in the second tier, working for Cantor may seem a no-brainer. However, recruiters warn that working for an aggressive, hungry firm like Cantor Fitzgerald, can come as a shock to people who’ve spent their careers in the comparative calm of an investment bank.
“It can be a very alien environment,” claims one. “People who’ve been in the safety net of a bulge bracket or large European bank can find it very difficult to adapt.”
It doesn’t help that brokers like Cantor typically pay lower salaries than banks do nowadays: many follow an eat what you kill model of low salaries and high bonuses. Bankers aren’t used to this any more, say headhunters.
Finally, in London at least, and in broking at least, it doesn’t look as if Cantor is expanding. Figures for approved persons from the FSA (taken from IMAS) for Cantor’s broking and trading staff suggest the reverse.