Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Desperate times, desperate career measures

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It’s no secret that the economic downturn is having an impact on the careers of millions of Americans.  Just ask Matthew Derra (pictured here), who found himself pursuing a degree in renewable energy after his job at American Axle disappeared.

As the U.S. braces for yet another monthly dismal jobs report, thousands more will be faced with one big question: what now?

Turns out, not everyone is looking for jobs in the field they once called home.

“We’re seeing people more willing to consider opportunities in places traditionally they wouldn’t locate to,’ says John Flanigan, VP of staffing company Aerotek.

Just as Derra found himself back at school, people are finding themselves in some unlikely scenarios. One former executive took an entry-level job after losing his job at Hewlett-Packard, a move he says set his career (and his salary) back by two decades.

HSBC’s local knowledge: not so good in U.S.?

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HSBC, whose advertisements play on how one image can have different meanings in different cultures, appears to have settled on a single view of the U.S. consumer: you’re not worth the risk. The global bank, whose billboards proclaim the importance of local knowledge, said it would shut most of its U.S. consumer lending business with the loss of 6,100 jobs.

“With the benefit of hindsight, this is an acquisition we wish we had not undertaken,” HSBC Chairman Stephen Green said of its 2003 acquisition of Household, which was renamed HSBC Finance.

Experts offer survival tips as job cuts spread

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So, you’re one of the lucky ones. Name on your office door. Extra-glossy business cards. A bit of seniority.

Think again.

While recent MBA grads prowling for work face the uneviable task of breaking into the financial ranks for the first time (gasp!), the barrage of layoffs that’s spread into the upper echelons of the industry in recent months shows that title-toting execs face a formidable challenge of their own – protecting their hides. The recession’s official, more jobs will be cut and there’s no reason to assume your’s won’t be one of them.

Bank crunch hits end-of-year festivities – oh, and more jobs

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Ahh, just when you could use a stiff drink on the company’s tab to kill the sobering mood wrought by this year’s financial carnage, you find out you’ll be coughing up for the bill yourself at the annual holiday shindig. Such is the case for scores of London’s financial workers. As Reuters’ Olesya Dmitracova reports, employees at some of the biggest names in town – Goldman Sachs, BNP Paribas, Barclays and so on – will be on the hook for their own year-end parties. A reasonable cost-cutting measure, it seems, during these often unreasonable times. Too bad, though, for those who get stuck drinking swill should their annual bonus get slashed too.

Across the pond, some employees of failed Washington Mutual received some less digestible news on Friday. JPMorgan, which bought WaMu’s banking operations in September, announced job cuts were on the way for some at the former thrift’s Seattle headquarters and elsewhere. Though overall numbers are still not known, and most will retain their jobs, at least 1,600 back-office WaMu staff who worked in California got word they’d be out of a job by March. More concrete figures and dates for others are expected on Monday. How’s that for a start to the holiday season?

Job Bank – Nov. 28

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The following financial services industry appointment was announced on Nov. 28, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

ALTIUM
The pan-European investment-banking group appointed Craig Leppard as head of Market Making team and Chloe Ponsonby to its Corporate Broking team. Leppard, who was previously with Numis Corp <NUM.L>, will join in January. Ponsonby joins Altium from Daniel Stewart & Co PLC.

Job Bank, Nov. 26

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov. 26, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

FORTIS GROUP

The chief investment officer of the Indian asset management arm of Fortis Group, K.C. Reddy, has quit to join a Swiss bank.

Job Bank – Nov. 25

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov. 25, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

STANDARD CHARTERED PLC

UK-based lender Standard Chartered Plc appointed Ebenezer Essoka as chief executive officer of its operations in South Africa. Cameroon-born Essoka, currently CEO of Standard Chartered’s west African business, will succeed Chris Low with immediate effect.

Job Bank – Nov. 24

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov. 24, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

BNP PARIBAS

BNP Paribas Securities said it had appointed Manishi Raychaudhuri as India head of equity research. He was earlier with UBS as country strategist.

Job Bank – Nov. 21

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov. 21, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

UBS AG

Ramesh Singh, the head of UBS AG’s asset-backed securities division has decided to step down, UBS CEO Jerker Johansson said in an internal memo. The asset-backed securities business at the Swiss banking giant will be reduced in scope. Replacing Singh, will be a group co-led by Bill Chandler, Jack McCleary and Jim Reichek.

Job Bank – Nov.20

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on November 20, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

LEHMAN BROTHERS HOLDINGS

Bryan Marsal will take over as Chief Executive of Lehman Brother’s Holdings, Inc at close of business December 31, 2008 according to court testimony by Harvey Miller, an attorney representing the firm. At a U.S. bankruptcy court hearing in Manhattan today, Miller said the firm’s board of directors had approved the appointment. Marsal, who is currently the chief restructuring officer of the firm, will replace Richard Fuld as company CEO.

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