Emerging market bankers feel jobs pain

December 13, 2011

Emerging markets may be growing faster than the developed world, but emerging market jobs in the financial sector are still feeling the pinch.

Across all markets, investment banking job cuts total more than 120,000 this year globally, with Citi the most recent to announce cuts.

It’s hard to pin down data for emerging markets alone, but bankers and recruitment specialists say many job cuts have come from this sector, where only a year or two ago financial sector employers were trumpeting emerging market investment as the next new thing.

Credit Suisse and Unicredit are among banks where there have been emerging market job losses, banking sources say.

According to Scott Miller of emerging markets recruitment specialists the Downings Partnership:

We have seen a big decrease in recruitment over the last six months, the banks have really stopped recruiting, though there is some recruitment into the asset management firms and hedge funds. We are seeing a lot of people looking for jobs because bonuses are so bad.

Particularly hard-hit are of course jobs focusing on Middle East and North Africa, after investment there has heavily dried up due to the Arab Spring. A lot of MENA-focused hedge funds have suffered in the last 18 months, Miller says.

Hedge funds, which often take bets on riskier emerging markets, have generally been having a bad year. The industry has shrunk to $1.66 trillion, its smallest in nearly two years, after punishing redemptions in October, according to data this week from BarclayHedge and TrimTabs Investment Research.

Meanwhile at the banks, firms are no longer trying to do everything, but instead want to concentrate on what they do well, and that might not include emerging markets.

According to Jonathan Nicholson,  MD at international recruitment firm Astbury Marsden:

We will see less full-service offerings in the next 12 months, some reshaping and more streamlined banks.  There will be more traders — and people supporting those functions — out on the street.







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