You would think a public backlash against bankers and the threat of tighter government regulations would put a damper on university graduates choosing to study finance. But that’s not the case, according to Andrew Clare at the Cass Business School in London, who noted that applications to study finance are up 60 percent at his school.
Meanwhile, the investment banking job market is turning around for hiring at the intern and graduate level was well. Even the Royal Bank of Scotland, battered by the financial crisis, is planning to hire 596 new graduates in 2010, more than double the number from last year, reports the Financial Times.
Citi Group is shopping for 330 graduates and interns for its offices in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; that’s up 15 percent. UBS, Bank of American and Merrill Lynch are busying hiring as well.
Mind you, many of the new jobs are geared towards specific lines of business that have been more active in the last year. This includes trading and risk management. In addition, pay structures are shifting in order to pre-empt any regulatory backlash against paying big bonuses. There’s a move toward a greater proportion of compensation being in the form of salary, with bonuses paid in shares and deferred over a number of years.
The influx of younger workers comes at the right time. Changing public sentiment, increasingly regulations and the end of a 20+ year boom in investment banking have many senior bankers questioning whether they want to stay in the industry. Some are choosing to move into less regulated areas, such as hedge funds. Others are leaving the industry altogether, to pursue other career paths.