As is the new norm, investment banks are making significant job cuts across some divisions while feverishly recruiting for others. In the U.S., every big bank seemingly has different priorities. Here’s what each firm is looking for in particular in 2019.
Where is Bank of America looking to hire?
Bank of America booked record earnings in 2018, which could lead some to believe that the firm was hitting on all cylinders. It was not. The bank’s advisory unit got throttled by U.S. rivals that all recorded double-digit increases in M&A revenue last year. At Bank of America, meanwhile, advisory revenues decreased by a massive 26%.
Chief Executive Brian Moynihan appeared to suggest there may have been some miscommunication around strategy that resulted in the bank leaving some deals on the table. “We forgot in the United States we need to cover every client,” he told Bloomberg, which reported earlier in the year that bankers were grumbling about ignoring opportunities for deals overseas. Bank of America changed up its leadership within its advisory team in the latter half of the year and is now actively recruiting M&A bankers to cover the middle market in the U.S. – the exact area Moynihan feels the bank failed to take advantage of in 2018. Middle-market investment bankers who are looking for work should feel free to knock on BofA’s door.
Bank of America also added about 200 wealth advisors last year, Moynihan said during the bank's most recent earnings call. Unlike its closest rivals, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s wealth management business actually increased its revenue during 2018.
Where is Goldman Sachs looking to hire?
While every bank is looking to add engineers, Goldman Sachs has a particular affinity for Java developers. No other big New York bank has a larger percentage of Java-related programming jobs than Goldman. Moreover, roughly 10% of its openings across the entire bank mention Java directly in the job title.
Goldman Sachs also has dozens of current openings for quants and strats across basically every trading desk, including equities, structured credit, commodities, equity derivatives and one delta – all in New York.
Elsewhere, Goldman is investing heavily in electronic trading, particularly for fixed income. "We're investing in automation as we expect many businesses within FICC to evolve similarly to equities," CEO David Solomon said on the bank's latest earnings call. Goldman has increased its FICC electronic trading revenues by 40% since 2014. Its investment in electronic trading – and the job creation that comes with it – should only continue. Of course, that means fewer investments in the human side of the business...
Where is J.P. Morgan hiring?
As we reported yesterday, J.P. Morgan appears to have a more aggressive growth strategy for artificial intelligence and machine learning than any other bank. The firm made three big-name MD hires across both coasts late last year and in early 2019 and is unabashed about its desire to add more AI talent at all level. The bank is even hosting an impromptu open house for perspective AI engineers in early February in California ahead of the opening of its new Silicon Valley fintech office.
J.P. Morgan is also investing heavily in technology as a whole, spending $8.8b on tech investments in 2018, up 14% from a year ago. Much of the 3,300-person increase in headcount within JPM's corporate and investment bank can be attributed to new tech hires.
Where is Morgan Stanley hiring?
Coming off a fairly dreadful quarter that CEO James Gorman described as "challenging," one wouldn’t think that Morgan Stanley would be talking hiring. But they are. Gorman acknowledged that the bank is looking to build out its $463 billion asset management business. Growth plans could take the form of mini acquisitions or the hiring of several teams, particularly across fixed income, where the division's footprint is “smaller than we would like,” according to Gorman. Morgan Stanley also said in its quarterly earnings presentation that it will be adding more wealth managers to cover ultra-high net worth clients.
Where is Citi hiring?
Citi appears to be doing more shuffling than hiring lately following the combining its corporate and investment bank with its capital markets business. However, Citi was said to be expanding its CETS (Citi Equity Trading Strategy) team as of late November. The report makes even more sense now considering the bank’s 2018 earnings. Citi outperformed in equities sales and trading (along with M&A) but struggled in equity and debt capital markets and fixed income sales and trading. Equities trading looks like the hot spot at Citi in early 2019.
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