Talent Wars Heating Up for Investment Banking Jobs

Spring has traditionally been the time when bankers and traders think about switching firms, after pocketing their bonuses from the previous year. This spring appears to be a particularly busy one, as bankers take advantage of healthier bottom lines and a gradual thaw in investment banking job hiring.

CNN Money reports that senior bankers, especially those with substantial M&A experience, are on the move. One recent survey of 1,400 financial professionals reports that three-quarters of those polled had been approached by headhunters.

The poaching of financial veterans from rival firms has been proceeding at a brisker pace than any time since before the financial crisis hit in 2007. Many banks are ramping up their hiring to deal with the wave of merger activity that has kicked in recently, and is expected continue through the year. Thomson Reuters reports that mergers and acquisitions are up 24%, compared to a year ago.

The CNN article quotes John Rogan, partner at the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, as saying “M&A experience is at a premium,” especially for those who have worked on energy and bank mergers. Equity and fixed-income traders are also in demand as many Wall Street firms try to ramp up that part of their business.

The hiring frenzy is not, apparently, extending to associates with only a year or two of experience. Nor does it seem to apply to new managing directors, who come with a high price tag but not the extensive experience of more senior level directors.

What’s your take? Are you seeing increased mobility among your peers or at your firm? Add your comments below.

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{ 1 comment }

Lon May 29, 2010 at 2:51 am

Of course, as the market witnesses strong comebacks and the rise in the M&A activities, the banks would need to hire new teams to grab all possible deals. Some banks even find it a challenge to retain the talent and bring people on board. Recruitment agencies are of the view that they are busy as they have appointed by some banks, but they are facing a problem to find decent talent in the market.

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