Banks are hiring. Forget the blood on the floor at Barclays. Forget the media frenzy battering JPMorgan. Who cares that fixed income revenues seem to be in terminal decline? Recruitment firm Morgan McKinley thinks 8,955 new financial services jobs were created in London last month, up from 5,355 in April 2013. Disregarding the fact that rival recruitment firm Astbury Marsden thinks there were only 2,740 similar jobs created in April, this looks good.
Needless to say, however, not all jobs are created equal. Which are the most enticing jobs on offer at U.S. investment banks in EMEA today? We’ve combed through banks’ own websites to find out. Our verdict is below. Headhunters and recruiters – speaking almost entirely off the record – have offered their opinions on remuneration for each role. Most are said to pay at least six figures. Some are said to pay far more…
1. Vice president, fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC), special situations group, growth markets, Goldman Sachs
What? Goldman Sachs is looking for a VP to work in its European Special Situations Group. This is a ‘multi-product investing and financing group” which ‘focuses primarily on distressed, special situations, and growth capital investment opportunities’.
Why this? Goldman’s special situations group is one of the most desirable units to work for within the firm. Tasked with investing Goldman’s own money, it’s akin to a giant internal hedge fund/private equity fund combined. The special situations group is part of Goldman’s Investing & Lending division, wherein revenues from ‘debt securities and loans’ rose 5% year-on-year in the first quarter – in other words, this is a fixed income business that’s actually growing. European distressed debt is heating up, U.S. hedge funds have been arriving in London in the expectation of imminent action in the space as European banks put their non-core assets up for sale.
Who? Among other things, you’ll need to have two years’ experience in M&A or leveraged finance. Unfortunately, you’ll also need to be fluent in Turkish.
How much? Goldman doesn’t give a figure for how much you might earn working for its FICC special situations group. However, one debt focused headhunter in London suggests the position might be rather lucrative. Anything from $500k to $700k (£296k-£415k) is feasible, he says.
2. Strats analyst/asssociate, commodities sales and structuring, Goldman Sachs
What? Goldman wants a junior person for its commodities ‘strats business’. Among other things, the job will involve modelling and pitching derivatives across the power, gas, coal, crude and metals markets, as well as developing trading and hedging ideas.
Why this? As banks like Barclays, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley pull back from commodities trading, Goldman is looking like the bank to work for. Goldman was one of the biggest traders of commodity derivatives in 2013, according to Greenwich Partners and is expected to consolidate its position this year. This job looks like a direct route into a strong and growing franchise.
Who? Goldman wants someone with trading experience, someone with programming experience (eg, Slang, C++, Java) and someone with an academic background in maths, computer science, physics, or finance.
How much? One quant recruiter says an analyst in this role would typically earn a salary of £60k to £70k, plus a bonus of 50% to 100%. An associate should expect a salary of £100k, plus a bonus of 100% (with luck).
3. Associate in the ‘repacking group’, global credit exotics and hybrids, JPMorgan
What? If ‘repacking’ sounds a lot like a euphemism for restructuring potentially risky credit products in complex ways to make them more appealing to investors, then that’s because this is what it indeed entails. JPMorgan says the job will involve trading, ‘bespoke, structured products and derivatives along with associated hedges’,’ for clients including ‘banks, insurance companies, finance companies, mutual funds and hedge funds’. One headhunter says repacking groups are all about, “getting something and turning it into something else to make it more palatable to investors”. This might involve stripping out risky elements of the investment, but it can also involve creating structured products that offer investors access to particular illiquid asset classes.
Why this? Repacking looks a bit like the rebirth of the structured credit market under a different a name. And we all know how big the structured credit market was in the past.
Who? JPMorgan wants someone with good derivatives knowledge, a good understanding of repackaging, and some sort of legal qualification.
How much? One structured credit headhunter puts total compensation for this role (ie. base plus bonus) at £120k to £150k.
4. J.P. Morgan Cazenove, financial institutions group (FIG) associate
What? J.P. Morgan Cazenove is looking for an associate to work on its investment banking team with UK financial institutions clients. The job will involve working on M&A and capital markets transactions.
Why this? This looks like an interesting time to get close to UK-based financial institutions. Barclays may yet spin off its investment bank (one day). RBS is selling its U.S, Citizens subsidiary. As the UK banking market restructures, UK FIG looks like a good place to be. And JPMorgan is one of the leaders in the space.
Who? J.P. Morgan Caz wants a fluent English speaker who preferably has M&A experience, has preferably worked with financial institutions clients, and has preferably got outstanding analysis and financial modelling skills.
How much? We don’t have figures for associates specifically, but associates in London earn an average of $200k, according to Emolument. FIG associates often earn a little more due to the added complexity of the finance industry.
5. JPMorgan, vice president benchmark submission control and reporting, chief investment office
What? JPMorgan is hiring someone for an all-new ‘Treasury Benchmark Submission & Control team’. This sounds to us a lot like a new control initiative at the U.S. bank, in response to benchmark scandals involving the likes of LIBOR and FX fixing. Among other things, the role will entail, ‘monitoring various front office submissions to market benchmark indexes and submitting supporting transactional data to various regulators’.
Why this? If you want to work at the cutting edge of regulation for one of the U.S. investment banks that is investing most heavily in updating its control systems, this job looks like a good option. If and when fines are imposed by global regulators for the rigging of FX benchmarks at various banks, experience in this kind of role could become highly desirable…
Who? Among other things, JPMorgan would like someone who knows about regulation, who knows how a treasury department works, who has project management experience and who’s worked in an operational risk background.
6. Bank of America programme manager, analyst and associate programme
What? Bank of America wants someone to come in and manage its entire Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) analyst and associate programme, with responsibility for the ‘overall junior banker experience’.
Why this? This role looks interesting in light of banks’ attempts to get a handle on junior bankers’ working hours. Bank of America is at the forefront of this push after Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year old intern at the bank died after suffering an epileptic fit during Bank of America’s internship last summer.
Who? Bank of America wants someone who combines relevant HR experience with experience of working with front office bankers. ‘Strong consulting, project management and process thinking abilities’, are desirable, as are excellent interpersonal skills and (interestingly) an ability to, ‘push back and influence senior executives.’
How much? Recruiters say this kind of role typically sits within the business as opposed to within HR and that it commands a salary to match. Richard Colgan, at HR recruitment firm Oakleaf Partnership, says the salary attached to this role is likely to be £120k to £130k, plus a bonus of 50% to 100%.
7. Bank of America, VP, quantitative finance model risk
What? Bank of America is looking for a vice president to work on model risk methodologies in its quantitative finance team. The aim is to, ‘improve stability of the model inventory and soundness of model risk management with respect to stress testing.’
Why this? Model risk methodologies at Bank of America look interesting for two reasons. Firstly, Bank of America needs to improve its models as it hasn’t yet been cleared by the U.S. Federal Reserve to use its own models to assess risk and capital requirements (unlike Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Cit.). Secondly, Bank of America is in trouble after miscalculating key capital ratios in its recent stress test.
Who? B of A wants someone with indepth knowledge of pricing models for FX and rates. Attention to detail would probably be a plus.
How much? Robert Walters puts salaries for London-based risk modelers with five to seven years’ experience at around £75k. Bonuses are likely to be an additional 10-25%.
8. Morgan Stanley, vice president interest rate e-trading strategist
What? Morgan Stanley wants a vice president to work in its expanding interest rate e-trading strategy team. This team runs automated market-making and hedging strategies for electronically traded interest rates products. The role is will involve, ‘leading and designing and delivering new or improved trading strategies’.
Why this? Rates trading is one of the areas which is expected to become considerably more automated in future. As margins are compressed in rates trading, Morgan Stanley is clearly expanding this business. Recruiters say these kind of roles are unusual and this looks like a good opportunity to get into a growing area.
Who? Among other things, Morgan Stanley wants some with a Masters, someone with programming skills, and someone with ‘passion’ for automated trading systems.
How much? Recruiters in London suggest a salary of £120k plus a bonus of 100% is probably feasible.
9. Morgan Stanley, fixed income e-trading, client services manager
What? Morgan Stanley wants a vice president to work in fixed income e-trading as a client services manager. The role is FX-focused and will involve client onboarding, ongoing customer services and taking on some of the responsibilities of the FX e-distribution sales team.
Why this? As a client services role, this isn’t the most exciting opportunity on the market right now. Nor is it the best paid. However, this kind of job is the way of the future as banks seek to automate growing swathes of their trading systems and to service clients at minimal cost. You will never be out of work.
Who? Someone with extensive knowledge of FX E-Commerce, a good understanding of FX and a year’s management experience in a similar role.
How much? As a middle office-type role, recruiters suggest that this might pay a salary of £70k to £90k, plus a bonus of 20%.
10. Citi: Senior trader, cash equities, Johannesburg
What? Citi is looking for a ‘senior trader’ to work in its South African cash equities team. You will execute client trades. Interestingly, you will also work with the European trading team to “generate proprietary profit”. Equally interestingly, Citi says South Africa has, ‘a high degree of risk trading’.
Why this? It’s a cash equities role which links into the London office but offers autonomy, along with (seemingly) the opportunity to actually take some risk.
Who? Among other things, Citi wants someone with a ‘track record of running a book profitably’.
How much? Unclear, but we suspect the bonus associated with this role will be far more performance oriented than if it were located in London….