Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Financial meltdown to hit headhunters

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lehman.jpgBy A.Ananthalakshmi – Analysis

BANGALORE (Reuters) – U.S.-based executive recruiters, already facing the heat of a global economic slowdown, could be a big casualty of the shakeup in the financial industry as battered Wall Street firms slow down on top-level hiring.

Korn/Ferry International Inc and Heidrick & Struggles International Inc — the only publicly traded executive search firms in the United States — could see profits erode further over the next few quarters as corporate America goes slow on white collar jobs.

The financial services sector accounted for about 19 percent of Korn/Ferry’s and 27 percent of Heidrick’s overall revenue in the latest reported quarter.

“We believe the slowdown in financial services will continue to affect the profit and loss statement of executive search companies in the third quarter,” Suntrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Tobey Sommer wrote in a note.

Job Bank – Sept. 24

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The following are job changes within the financial industry for September 23, linked where possible to profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

SOCIETE GENERALE CORPORATE & INVESTMENT BANKING
The French bank has hired Kelly Broadhurst as a senior institutional sales person, to market equity derivatives to U.S. long-only asset managers. Broadhurst was previously at UBS in a similar role.

The banker’s quandry

Times are tight, but jobs are still out there for talented performers in the financial industry. However, long gone are the days when senior bankers could bring their entire team along to a new job.

If you were offered a job at a rival bank but had to leave your team behind, what would you do? The Financial Times posed this stumper to four experts — the Executive, the PR, the Consultant and the Academic — and got four very different answers.

India bank unions strike over wages, consolidation

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Bank employees shout during protest to mark two-day strike in Ranchi

NEW DELHI, Sept 24 (Reuters) – State-run bank employees began a two-day strike on Wednesday protesting delay in wage increases, the head of a workers union said, affecting foreign exchange trading volumes.

Bank unions representing about 900,000 employees of 26 government-run banks went on strike after talks between government officials and Indian Banks’ Association failed on Tuesday.

from DealZone:

Sympathy for the devil’s banker

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After a couple weeks of just trying to keep up with developments in the financial crisis, reporters and bloggers are taking halting steps toward describing the mythos of the investment banker.

It's been a while since Tom Wolfe and Bret Easton Ellis popularized the bespoke-suited arrogance commonly associated with the financial world's anointed -- the easy millions, the casual disdain for the rubes and the marks in the lower classes and the single-minded pursuit of money. Depicting the carnivore in his or her habitat is beginning to come back into vogue as taxpayers who may soon be on the hook to bail out their social betters in the investment banking world wonder why they're getting stuck with a bill they didn't incur.

Job Bank – Sep. 23

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The following are job changes within the financial industry for September 23, linked where possible to profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

CITIGROUP
Citi has hired three bankers from Lehman Brothers to cover the healthcare sector. Chris Hite joins to co-head global healthcare investment banking with Rick Landgarten and Michael Hill. Tai Hah and Ray Cooper both join the group as managing directors.

BofA’s big challenge seen keeping Merrill advisers

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merrill’s “thundering herd” may be stampeding into the sunset.

That’s Bank of America Corp’s fear as it proceeds with the planned $50 billion purchase of Merrill Lynch and prepares to inherit Merrill’s 16,000 financial advisers, part of the retail brokerage that Bank of America Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis has described as the “crown jewel.”

Interview with a headhunter

The Globe and Mail talks to Matthew Wright, CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates, about what’s changed, and what hasn’t, in the financial sector’s unprecedented reshaping.

What should you do if you’re an investment banker with shaky job security?

Welcome to Trading Places

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A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 24, 2007.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

This month has seen an unprecedented reshaping of the financial industry on Wall Street and beyond. Storied names like Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch have disappeared or been swallowed up by commercial banks, throwing thousands of jobs into doubt.

Reuters is launching Trading Places to serve the thousands of people — from Wall Street to London to Mumbai and beyond — whose jobs have been affected by the financial crisis, and the millions more who are worried about what’s to come.

“Jealous contempt”

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A protester stands outside the Lehman Brothers building in New York September 15, 2008.  REUTERS/Joshua Lott

A protester stands outside the Lehman Brothers building in New York September 15, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

The following commentary is from an investment banker in the United States who works with asset-backed securities. He asked that his name be withheld because he is not authorized by his employer to write.

Many people feel that employees getting laid off at banks is their just dessert. I find this reaction bizarre and disturbing. Under normal circumstances, investment bankers help markets function more efficiently. Perhaps the average American has savings in a mutual fund that is run by an investment bank; perhaps the average American shops at a store that recently got acquired by another, providing better product variety and lower prices by being part of a larger company; or perhaps the average American is able to get a mortgage at a lower interest rate because mortgage-backed securities help to facilitate mortgage underwriting. Investment bankers make all of these things possible. Whatever the connection, I find it exceedingly hard to believe that the average American is worse off because of investment bankers. In fact, I would argue that they’re better off.

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