Trading Places

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“We’ve hardly felt the financial crisis.”

Now there’s a sentence you don’t expect to hear these days.  It comes from a headhunter for a temp agency in Germany, where apparently the financial sector is like Teflon: although German banks foresee some of the job cuts afflicting its peers  –  RBS among the most recent — there have been relatively few layoffs so far.

In a refreshing twist to a dire employment situation, headhunters in Germany are now scrambling to fill a slew of temporary banking jobs. Problem is, jittery bankers don’t want to switch firms in the middle of a crisis.

But it’s a different ballgame in London, where there the number people chasing jobs has doubled from last year in what one job expert calls “one of the most difficult periods in decades.” To top it off, the city once poised to replace New York as the financial center of the world is being blamed for the greed that sparked the financial crisis.

Back on Wall Street, Citibank is readying to slash another 10,000 jobs worldwide and trim its compensation budget as its shares skid.

Job Bank – Nov. 7


The following financial services industry appointment was announced on November 7, linked where possible to personal profiles on Linkedin. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail


The British life insurer named Evelyn Bourke, formerly CFO of Standard Life UK Financial Services, as its chief financial officer.

The bright side of financial turmoil


Who says it’s all gloom and doom on Wall Street? Sure, job cuts are fast and furious these days, but the deepening financial crisis is bringing about some interesting unintended consquences.  Time magazine reports that although the government bailout caps the salaries of top executives, it may actually prop up the bonuses of rank and file bankers.

True, those bonuses are substantially lower than they would’ve been had the markets not imploded in recent weeks — but not nearly as low as one might expect.

More “slash and burn” to come?


An electronic ticker is seen inside a Bank of America Corp branch in New York September 15, 2008.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Nerves are likely frayed at newly-acquired Merrill Lynch after analyst Richard Bove wrote a daunting note to clients warning of Bank of America’s “slash and burn” post-acquisition style, Bloomberg reports. A BofA spokesperson is mum on the size of the cuts, but Merrill CEO John Thain estimated in an earlier TV interview that cuts would be in the thousands. CNBC reported that about 500 sales and trading jobs across fixed-income and equity divisions have already been cut.

Meanwhile, some 4,000 National City employees are expected to get the axe as the Cleveland-based lender looks to shave costs over the next three years.

Big isn’t always better for brokers



Beaten-down brokers are weighing the benefits of staying at Wall Street mammoths Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch in a time when even the big guys aren’t so safe anymore. Turns out, well-established firms are still attractive to many brokers even as some decide to break ties altogether to set up their own shop.

“Merrill advisors are looking at the prospect of working for Ken Lewis and Bank of America and fear they will find themselves in a cost-cutting mentality,” says Howard Diamond, CEO of Diamond Consultants, a New Jersey-based financial services recruiter.

Job Bank – Sept. 24



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

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.

BofA’s big challenge seen keeping Merrill advisers



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.”

Job Bank – Sep. 22



The following are job changes within the financial industry for September 22, linked where possible to profiles on LinkedIn.

The Japanese investment bank said James Lamb, Steven Ware, Kai Herbert, Sami Amara and Lofti Bensassi have joined its global foreign exchange sales and trading team in London. Herbert was previously from Bank of America, while the other four had worked at Bear Stearns.