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US banks on road to recruitment recovery

Large US banks like Goldman Sachs and Citi are slowly starting to hire again in Tokyo. After cutting their way through the worst of the financial crisis, they are finally increasing their headcounts.

Warwick Pearmund, a consultant at Slate Consulting, says the current need for rebuilding comes as a result of US firms having cut too many staff.

“Things are now opening up and most people are hiring; although not in all areas and there is more activity on the sales side rather than the buy side,” he adds.

Paul Guevara, a senior consultant at recruitment firm Boyd and Moore, says most American banks let go some 30 per cent of their staff across all areas in Japan from 2007 to 2009. Now though they are starting to re-staff those very same teams.

One sector where Guevara is seeing substantial demand is asset management, particularly in distribution, marketing and sales.

For sell-side sales and sales trading, Guevara says there has been a lot of desk restructuring taking place. But he adds that the bar to fill such positions is typically set very high and candidates will generally need a running institutional client list and previous sales/trading track record to be in with a chance.

Seasoned bankers looking for a senior role might be out of luck. “There is a dearth of senior level positions; most of the activity would be for junior to mid level roles,” he adds.

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