Russian banks seem to be hiring. It's come to our attention, for example, that Romain Camus - the FX structurer who was apparently let go from Deutsche Bank in March 2011 after he taunted NHS protestors with a £10 note, has resurfaced at VTB Capital.
Following his departure from Deutsche in March 2011, Camus reportedly 'fled' to France and set up a Paypal account for people to donate to his cause. As we noted at the time, Deutsche seemingly had little chance but to let him go: irate doctors and nurses were planning to march on the bank's London Wall office, demanding that Camus both apologise and give his bonus to charity.
Camus's FSA record suggests he spent around a year in the wilderness before resurfacing at financial boutique Terium in April 2012 and then moving to VTB in June.
Scandal not withstanding, Camus is eminently employable. He spent four years at Deutsche and two years at Goldman Sachs before shooting his career in the foot. It's easy to see why VTB Capital would have been interested in picking him up.
VTB isn't the only Russian bank availing itself of available talent. Last week, it emerged that Renaissance Capital had hired Isabella da Costa Mendes from Morgan Stanley as head of equity capital markets and debt capital markets execution for its London office. Da Costa Mendes was promoted to MD at Morgan Stanley in 2011. Before that, she spent 10 years at JPMorgan.
Headhunters say Broker Credit Service (BCS) also continues to hire in London after poaching an electronic trading team from Otkritie a few months ago.
However, anyone who thinks that joining a Russian bank will be an easy bet is likely to be disappointed.
“There’s very little hiring going on at Russian banks in London,” says Olga Selivanova-Shoff, a partner at Heidrick & Struggles in London. “Where there is recruitment it’s in pockets rather than a big build."
“Russian banks are hiring strategically and opportunistically," confirms Taru Oksman-Ison, a director at search firm Riverhouse Partners. "They’re looking to bring on key individuals who may become available at this complicated time," she adds
More positively, Oksman-Ison argues that Russian banks are freer to hire now than many US banks: "Russian banks are less restricted in terms of headcount than large international banks – a lot of banks would like to pick people up right now, but the the big banks have headcount restrictions until Q1.”
Don't expect a guaranteed bonus though. Both Oksman-Ison and Selivanova-Shoff say the days of Russian firms offering big guarantees are over.