We may only be a few weeks into 2014. We may be approaching bonus time. Litigation costs may be up and fixed income businesses may be struggling at Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. But there's still hiring going on.
We looked at the UK Financial Conduct Authority's Register of Individuals for all the new people registered by JPMorgan, Goldman and Morgan Stanley since the start of the year. Registrations, which are mandatory for new hires in key areas, act as a kind of proxy for recruitment into the front office. Some of this year's registrations are weird (in an interesting way) and illuminating with regards to the kinds of people U.S. investment banks are hiring now.
This is what you need to know:
The traditional route into investment banking (a second-year summer internship while at university followed by a job offer in the third year) has been changing for a while now.
Joseph Staniford, who was registered as an analyst in Goldman's macro cross-asset sales team a few weeks ago, offers an example of a new route into the industry: the long term internship.
Staniford didn't do a summer internship at Goldman (or elsewhere in banking). He joined the firm on a 'long-term internship' in June 2013 after graduating from Loughborough University. Three months later, Goldman offered him a full time job.
Staniford's candidacy was undoubtedly helped by a heap of sporting and athletic achievements, along with a technical bursary from the British army while he was studying (which may have compelled him to undertake defence-related internships while at university). However, his appearance at the firm should provide hope for all students who failed to get banking internships while at university: you can get in without them.
Morgan Stanley's fixed income sales and trading strategy is in disarray. When the bank announced its fourth quarter results on Friday, it said it wasn't expecting a fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) recovery in 2014 and that it was focused on increasing its return on equity, particularly in its rates business which has been performing badly.
Nevertheless, the FCA Register reveals that Morgan Stanley has been making some rates hires. In January, it added Charlie Heap, a former director of rates sales at RBS.
If you're a rates professional looking for a new job, don't discount Morgan Stanley entirely.
Looking for a junior M&A job? Try JPMorgan.
Even though first-year M&A analysts typically join banks' graduate schemes in the third quarter, JPMorgan seems to have decided that it needs to increase its quota of junior M&A professionals. In January, it added Sean Murphy from Barclays Capital. According to LinkedIn, Murphy has joined as an analyst rather than an associate, despite having already spent four years as an analyst at BarCap. This seems strange.
JPMorgan is likely to hire more junior M&A bankers as 2014 progresses. The bank has promised to introduce 'protected weekends' whereby its junior M&A staff will get one weekend in every four off. It's expected to hire extra people to compensate for the reduced hours of existing staff.