Big banks are trimming their analyst and associate classes in investment banking – so say London's investment banking recruiters. Simultaneously, we hear that London's top M&A boutiques are hiring. If you want a safe job in IBD now, therefore, boutiques might be the place to be. Some of junior investment bankers certainly seem to be joining the capital's advisory boutiques on a preemptive basis.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, for example, just lost Aamer Bhatti, a second-year analyst, to Centerview Partners, and Kathryn Larin, an associate in its debt capital markets team, to Evercore.
UBS just lost Anand Sethia, an associate director (otherwise known as an associate anywhere else) in its investment bank, to Evercore.
And Perella Weinberg and Moelis & Co. respectively just picked up Robert Nadler and Jack Hammett from Nomura (Nadler joins as a director while Hammett joins as an associate).
The moves reflect boutiques' willingness to capitalise upon disquiet at their larger competitors, most of which are in the process of cutting costs. Evercore, in particular, has been ramping up its headcount in London and has added 13 people since September, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register. They include Cyrille Cotte, a former Citi MD focused on insurance, and Olivier Christnacht, a former VP in technology M&A from Lazard.
Not all boutiques are in expansionary mode, however. The FCA Register suggests that Ondra, which was set up by ex-Lehman Brothers bankers Michael Tory and Benoit D'Angelin and Michael Baldock, an ex-HSBC banker, in 2008, has been trimming: Ondra had 40 registered people in December 2015; now it has 35. Meanwhile, Perella Weinberg understood to be finalising a merger with boutique Tudor Pickering & Holt, which employs six people in London. It's not clear whether this will result in 'overlaps'.