Call it Brexit, call it British autumnal blues, call it boredom, people are leaving London – and they’re not all called Mark Carney. Over the past weeks and months, there’s been a definite trickle of juniors out of investment banks in the City and into jobs in Continental Europe.
The latest movers include Felix Wienen, a former capital goods analyst at Nomura in London, who joined a single family office in Cologne, Germany. There’s Max Dolata, a former associate director in ratings and capital structure advisory at UBS, who joined the Frankfurt office of Ardian, a European private equity fund with $60bn AUM. There’s Victor Diaz, a former vice president in cross asset macro sales at Morgan Stanley in London, who joined J.B Capital Markets, a broker-dealer in Madrid. And there’s Francisco Sottomayor, a former managing director at Credit Suisse in London who just joined Axia Ventures in Lisbon.
Notice a pattern? Diaz excepted, everyone’s off to the buy-side.
Elena Barclay, principal at recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners in Frankfurt, says quitting banks in London for private equity funds in Germany is most definitely a thing: “We’ve moved around 25 people from London into German PE roles this year.” It’s a move that always happens, says Logan Naidu, Dartmouth CEO, but circumstances have given it a boost: “European private equity funds have got so much dry powder that there’s a lot of activity going on in this space. Since the EU referendum, people are also more willing to move to Europe than they were historically.”
European PE funds who want to hire London juniors could be spoiled for choice: our research suggests 46% of people occupying M&A jobs in London are non-Britons.
The head of another London recruitment firm says it’s wrong to attribute the outflow of EU juniors to European private equity funds to Brexit, though. People leave simply because it’s easier to land these jobs in Europe: “Imagine that your number one priority is to work in private equity. If you apply for a PE job in London you’ll be up against people from all over the world. If you apply for a PE job in Frankfurt, you’ll only be up against people who speak German. – People leave simply because these European jobs are easier to get.”