From the monthly archives:

September 2008

Taking on short-term or project-oriented positions can help you develop new skills and possibly move you into a full-time job in investment banking, according to an article in the Financial Times online. With financial firms and recruiters being flooded with resumes, it pays to be a little creative in your approach to your next job.

Put your time out of work to good use by upgrading your skills or doing volunteer work, suggests Jo Causon, director of corporate affairs at the Chartered Institute of Management in London. Consulting or taking on an interim managerial job is another good options to consider, because these jobs expose you to opportunities within a company. You are also more attractive to companies when you are already employed.

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HSBC has slashed 1,100 jobs in its investment banking division in response to slumping financial markets. The cut last week represents roughly 4 percent of the bank’s total number of employees in its global banking and markets division. The cuts affect about 500 staff in London, including back office and temporary workers, with the remainder of the layouts being in Europe and the U.S.

However, the Financial Times reports that despite the gloomy prognosis for capital markets in 2009, HSBC is determined to focus its investment banking operations in emerging markets such as Asia and the Middle East, where executives believe the bank has strong growth prospects.

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Not long ago, thousands of highly trained tech professionals were in the same position as many of today’s financial professionals, when major firms downsized and smaller companies vaporized in the great tech meltdown of 2001.  If you are looking for jobs in banking, you’d be wise to follow some of the strategies the most successful job seekers back then used for landing on their feet, as highlighted in the Globe and Mail:

  1. Act Quickly: start your job search fast, given that so many others will be looking.

  2. Broaden your thinking: ask yourself whether you want to stay in your current field or consider a different field.

  3. Be flexible: don’t limit your search by geography. If you can relocate outside your city, region or even country, your options widen. Also consider smaller companies who may welcome the opportunity to hire someone with your skills and background. You may even have to take a temporary cut in compensation and work your way up again.

  4. Use online resources to the fullest. One recruiter tells us that during the tech meltdown, colleagues and friends created private email networking groups and circulated news and job leads among group members. That way if one group member heard about a job opening that didn’t apply to him, other members of the group could go for it. This type of networking rapidly multiplies the number of job leads you hear about. It also pays to prowl chat rooms and niche job sites, and use online tools such as Linked-In, Facebook and MySpace.

  5. Upgrade your skills. If you can afford it, this might be the perfect time to go back to school to acquire new skills and wait out the softness in the current job market for a year or two.

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North Americas Loss May Be Asias Gain

September 23, 2008

Reuters reports that within hours of the sale of Merrill Lynch this past week, the Indian financial firm, Ambit Holdings, had hired five Merrill executives for its institutional equities and equity trading unit. The story also mentions that BNP Paribas and Nomura Securities in India, as well as Hong Kong banks, are all looking to […]

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Finding Investment Banking Jobs in Troubled Times

September 22, 2008

The bankruptcy of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch & Company has flooded the market with displaced financial professionals, many of whom have already launched job searches. With the glut of talent on the street, recruitment experts are suggesting that candidates include smaller banks, boutiques and mid-market firms in their search. […]

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Canadian Banks Go On A Hiring Spree in the U.S.

September 18, 2008

While U.S. banks and securities firms have shed more than 76,000 jobs since the subprime market collapsed a year ago, Canadian lenders have stepped in to scoop up bank assets and recruit professionals, according to a report by Bloomberg News. Royal Bank of Canada’s U.S. investment banking business boosted its ranks by recruiting 100 senior […]

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Mid-Market Firms May Be Better Positioned

September 17, 2008

Mid-Market Investment Banks that took fewer risky positions than their bulge bracket colleagues may be better able to ride out this storm, according to an investment banker at a Chicago area firm. The firms that survive the current crisis will be the well-diversified “universal banks” that have broader portfolios. They have been a bit more […]

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