Two very different forces are dictating the job markets of Wall Street and the City of London.
London is hunkering down as banks prepare to shift jobs out of the City now that Article 50 has been served, while the U.S. should be staffing up for the new era of Trump-inspired prosperity. Well, maybe.
But the common theme across both markets so far in 2017 is that the buy-side remains the most desirable landing spot. In the UK, more people are applying to jobs in hedge funds than anything else. In the U.S, people are clamouring to get into junior private equity jobs.
Based on the average application rate in the UK and U.S. during the first quarter of 2017, these are the most desirable sectors and individual roles so far this year.
In June last year, research as a sector didn’t even make the top 15 in the UK. Now, as MiFID II decimates research teams, it’s fourth in our rankings. What’s more, a role for a mid-ranking (VP) research analyst was the job that received the most applications across all of eFinancialCareers during the first quarter. This is, of course, more reflective of challenging market conditions for research teams on the sell-side, which are still struggling to work out how they can charge buy-side clients for research as MiFID forces banks to break out the costs from other trading charges. Most banks have reorganised their teams into rock star analysts supported by a team of juniors. When a mid-ranking role comes up, it’s seized upon.
With active management struggling on the buy-side, and traditional analyst roles under threat by the ongoing march of artificial intelligence and data analysis, this junior analyst role at a large asset manager in the City was popular.
Again, junior buy-side jobs are currently highly contested. This position was focused on analysing risk analytics for a large global asset manager and required no previous relevant experience. What’s the catch? Successful applicants are likely to have started studying the CFA.
If you’re looking for stable employment in the financial sector, technology and compliance are two areas where you’ll never be short of work. This business analyst role at a bulge bracket investment bank in the UK was one of the most popular jobs in during the first quarter of 2017. The fact that it’s tackling both financial crime and internal controls on market abuse – in light of recent scandals – also helps to explain its popularity.
It’s no secret that private equity jobs are highly sought-after. As we pointed to previously, less than 1% of banking analysts succeed in making the move across. But what if you could move to a PE role without leaving banking? This role for an analyst was based in the private equity division of a large investment bank in London. Experience in either M&A, leveraged finance or investment banking was required along with “maturity, discretion and good judgement”.
Going it alone is the new thing for senior investment bankers. In this case, former UBS, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan bankers have got together for a new start-up private equity firm and have just started recruiting for a junior analyst. The job description suggests a need for a high-quantitative research analyst and someone willing to act as something of a dogsbody (taking notes in senior management meetings, for example). Again, CFA or CAIA is required, along with at least two years’ experience in investment management or investment banking.
Private equity was the most popular sector in the U.S. and this is reflected in the top jobs. This is another junior role, for a chance to join a direct lending infrastructure fund. Direct lending firms, along with other buy-side companies, have been targeting the junior ranks of investment banks. The job requires 1-3 years of investment banking experience.
The chance to join as a junior in a hedge fund in Connecticut, this role required a combination of quantitative modelling, and more traditional fundamental analysis. This is a classic entry level buy-side role with a twist – it’s essentially asking for the so-called ‘quantimental’ skills from the get-go.
Junior research jobs requesting sell-side experience but on the decidedly safer platform of a large asset manager are always likely to be popular right now. This is a traditional role, involving analysis of company accounts, other data sources and the occasional interview with the C-suite.
If you’ve been through an investment banks’ training programme within its leveraged finance division, and have a top MBA or the CFA then this hedge fund might like to hire you. The bar was set high, but this junior role in a top hedge fund was still among the most popular in the U.S. during the first quarter.