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Investment banks are in poaching war to bring in senior technology talent

Gemsbok fight

Call it a self-imposed deadline, but most investment banks want bums on seats within their technology functions before a code freeze in the final quarter of the year. The result is that the past few weeks have seen a flurry of poaching at the top.

The merry-go-round of chief information officers, chief technology officers and innovators within investment banks has taken off. Investment banks might be positioning themselves as technology companies – Goldman Sachs is pushing to attract IT professionals from Silicon Valley – but when it comes to moves at the top they’re just hiring from each other.

Michael Grimaldi, the CIO of Deutsche Bank’s investment bank, has just joined J.P. Morgan in a role that covers its markets business and leading its EMEA technology business. But this big hire is the tip of the iceberg.

“The final quarter is when banks freeze code, freeze headcount and start planning for the year ahead,” says Paul Bennie, managing director at headhunters Bennie McLean, which hires CIOs into banking roles. “Summer therefore tends to be busy.”

J.P. Morgan has hired another senior technologist, this time in New York. Derek Jean-Baptiste, a technology fellow and head of prime services client technology at Goldman Sachs, joined as a managing director earlier this month. Jean-Baptiste had spent the best part of 14 years at Goldman, having joined in May 2004 from software firm Concentra. Heather Beckman, another senior Goldman technologist, also joined J.P. Morgan as CTO for its treasury business earlier this year.

Barclays has also been actively hiring senior people in technology. Gary Smolyanskiy, who oversaw Goldman Sachs’ cloud infrastructure, has joined as Americas head of technology infrastructure services at Barclays in New York. Nick Doddy, the European managing director of group technology and operation (GTO) strategy and innovation team at Deutsche Bank, also joined Barclays as a managing director within its business architecture division.

Of all the investment banks, Deutsche has arguably been losing the largest number of technology leaders. As well as Doddy and Grimaldi, Ashu Joglekar, its head of global credit and flow rates IT, left earlier this month to join Wells Fargo. He joins as head of its core risk technology platform.

Deutsche has been filling some holes, however. Shel Xu, who was head of trade management technology at Credit Suisse, joined Deutsche Bank as a managing director in June.

All of these hires show that it’s still important to have a background in investment banking to make it to the top in technology. Investment banks are increasingly trying to lure expertise across from large technology companies, ans are stepping up their efforts.

Goldman Sachs said that it had hired a Silicon Valley ‘fixer’ called Andrew Trout to help attract people across from large technology companies. It has increased entry level salaries to $100k, and started interviews based on skills rather than trying to fit people into job titles. J.P. Morgan’s investment bank CIO, Lori Beer, told us previously that it successfully hires staff from large technology firm.

But banks are still reliant on their competitors for tech talent. “Banks’ internal recruits talk about the need to recruit from the likes of Google, but the reality is that it’s still a struggle for them,” says another banking IT recruiter.

Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Image credit: Getty

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