From the monthly archives:

September 2013

Payscale.com offers five humble suggestions to make sure your social media presence isn’t turning off potential employers, in the investment banking sector or elsewhere. At the top of the list is “Nudes (duh).” Author Leah Arnold-Smeets added the duh, but we would have if she hadn’t.

Next is “Rude or Inappropriate Comments.” Although politics and religion are a consideration, your sense of humor is probably more likely to be an issue with potential employers.

“Excessive Amounts of Partying” comes in third. One recalls Dean Wormer’s advice to Flounder in Animal House: “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.”

We all have those online friends who always loves to take pictures of themselves. Some are models or fashion designers, some are just self-obsessed, some are unfortunately running for mayor of New York. Payscale.com warns strenuously against “An ungodly number of ‘selfies’.” (We were tempted to add an illustrative link, but thought better of it).

Rounding out the list is “Terrible Grammar.” We’re not so sure, but then again, we’re pros. In our experience, most bank officers couldn’t tell good grammar from a dyslexic’s list of passcodes. Maybe we’ve already entered the post-grammatical world (or re-entered — grammar before the mid-1800s was far from standardized).

Still you never know when an English Lit major is going to be your gatekeeper, so keep your Strunk & White handy.

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So the verdict has been handed down: Goldman Sachs golden boy Fabrice Tourre defrauded investors. He is liable to repay millions in ill-gotten gains. The SEC was kind enough to pursue justice in civil rather than criminal court; can you think of a more unfortunate nickname than “Fabulous Fab” for a prison inmate?

Although Tourre was a rising star at Goldman, he was actually a fairly low-level operator.  The bosses who were supposed to be supervising this pedigreed, grande ecole-educated, best-and-brightest type probably heard about the verdict on Channel 27 in Grand Cayman. After five years, the v.p.-level drone represents the only success the SEC has had in punishing anyone connected with the worldwide financial meltdown of 2008.  In this jury trial, Tourre’s legal team was unable to make the “junior staff defense” work. They couldn’t convince the court that there was anything misguided or improper about fishing for minnows.

If you, as an entry-level job hunter in the investment banking industry, are chilled by that, good. It won’t say so in your letter of hire, but “scapegoat” and “sacrificial lamb” may be part of your real-world job description. It might be a good idea to be able to talk the talk about business ethics and securities law before taking that meeting with a Wall Street recruiter.

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The outlook for investment banking jobs might be improving, but probably not fast enough for your tastes. With that in mind, British-based web site eFinancialCareers.com has identified eight banks that are actively seeking the right people. They’re not looking in all geographies and they’re not looking for all skill, sets, but still, they’re looking:

  1. HSBC is recruiting in the United Kingdom, primarily in its equity capital markets and corporate brokering practices. They’ve hired some bigfoot executives to provide fresh leadership, and they might be the kind of stars you could hitch your wagon to.
  2. UBS is seeking financial services investment bankers throughout the Americas. Same story as with HSBC, really: the bank lured a top player away from an arch-rival and are now looking to rebuild his team. Technology savvy would be a plus for the right candidate.
  3. Rothschild is looking to build its mergers and acquisitions capabilities in the United States. If you’ve already applied to Barclays, chances are the guy you wanted to send your resume to has moved over to Rothschild.
  4. Jefferies is unique among big banks (yes, it is a big bank) in that it actually has more employees today than it had in 2006, and not just by a little. Headcount is up 70 percent in that time! At the moment, Jefferies is looking for high-yield specialists, event-driven traders, and consumer investment bankers. Openings are in London and Asia and perhaps elsewhere as well.
  5. Morgan Stanley is always looking for people who can sell securities — both equities and fixed income. Don’t focus on the constant drumbeat of layoffs from Morgan Stanley — it’s more of a skills rebalancing. There are plenty of jobs to be had there, particularly in London.
  6. J.P. Morgan is hiring people for its prime brokerage unit. It might not be your dream job, but it could take you to exotic locations in Asia, or set you up nicely in a fashionable section of London’s West End.
  7. Goldman Sachs executives doesn’t know what to do with all the foreign exchange it has. Maybe you can help them. They’re actually trying to maintain their forex market share in the face of broadening competition.
  8. Deutsche Bank might have an opening for you if you want to spend the next few years in the southern hemisphere. If you have knowledge and you’d be willing to transfer to South Africa, Australia, or Thailand, Deutsche might have an opportunity for you.

This is hardly an exhaustive list — either of the job opportunities at these firms or of all the investment banks that are hiring worldwide. It’s a truism that opportunity never just dries up — it just moves from one port to another, from one field to another. These are just the openings identified by one Web-based business journalist who had his eye on which high-profile bankers had been enticed away from their former employers by a sweeter deal across the street. Consider these links a place to get started.

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Three Tips for Investment Banking Resumes in Tough Times

September 9, 2013

Landing an investment banking job is tough regardless of the economic conditions. In tough times, candidates need to leverage every facet of their education, experience and personality to beat out the competition.

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You Only Get One Chance at a Second Career

September 2, 2013

If you’ve always known you wanted to be an investment banker, then this post isn’t for you. If, however you started out as a direct contributor to the creation of wealth, saw people with dark suits and perfect hair ride away from your job site in a limo that you have a sneaking suspicion you […]

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