Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

Maybe rethink that banking career

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It’s bound to happen in every industry, especially in the days and weeks that follow historic layoffs like yesterday’s at Citigroup: young up-and-comers eager to snap up top jobs come to the painful realization that they couldn’t have chosen a worse time to enter their chosen career field.  And so the re-thinking, re-jigging and re-planning begins.

Just ask any MBA grad, who’s likely eying the carnage on Wall Street with a mix of dread and disbelief.  Analyst jobs are among the newest batch of casualties, experts says, as an ongoing flurry of consolidation is threatening to obliterate thousands of positions that are unlikely to return.

As a result, an increasing number of graduates are abandoning their dream of investment banking in lieu of careers in consulting and corporate finance until the market stabilizes, the Wall Street Journal reports.

But bad news for new graduates is good news for smaller investment firms that often struggle to attract top candidates. Says one recruiter: “We’re sort of like kids in a candy store right now.”

Bucking the firing trend

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It’s a sad day in global finance when Deutsche Bank is poised to slash about 900 jobs and no one seems the least bit surprised. Granted, there’s stiff competition in the “shocking cutbacks” department these days. In the UK, the Lloyds/HBOS deal is inching ahead, and some expect a massive 40,000 jobs to be lost in the process.

But not everyone is on a firing spree. In fact, UBS — among those hit the hardest by the global credit meltdown — says it’s adding six senior executives to its wealth management division in Asia. True, six new jobs hardly seems like cause for celebration, but it signals an increasingly foreign concept of growth and expansion in time when contraction and cutbacks reign.

Job Bank – Nov.19

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on November 19, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please email moves@thomsonreuters.com.

CME GROUP INC

The derivatives exchange said it has named Michael O’Connell as managing director, clearing business development. O’Connell was previously at Northern Trust Corp, where he most recently was part of its global consulting team.

Job Bank – Nov.18

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on November 18, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please contact: moves@thomsonreuters.com.

FARMERS GROUP, INC.

Paul Hopkins has been named chairman of the board of Farmers Group, Inc., a Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services Group. Hopkins is currently the chief executive officer of the firm and will be replaced by Bob Woudstra, currently the president and chief operating officer for Farmers Group, Inc.

Job Bank – Nov.17

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on November 17, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

STANDARD CHARTERED BANK

The Asia-focused British bank promoted four members of its transaction-banking leadership team. It promoted Neil Daswani to regional head, Transaction Banking, for North Asia and Jiten Arora to regional head, Transaction Banking, South Asia. Daswani was earlier global head of Securities Services, while Arora was global head, Client Access. The bank also promoted Giles Elliott to global product head, Securities Services, and Neal Livingston to global head, Client Access. Daswani will be based in Hong Kong while the rest will based in Singapore.

Do the right thing

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Goldman Sachs sent the business media abuzz this weekend with news that its top executives were voluntarily giving up their annual bonus in a gesture they hope will spread to the rest of the Street. The decision immediately won the praise of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who hailed the move as a “step in the right direction”, while the firm’s spokesperson said, “They believe it’s the right thing to do.”

But don’t expect any applause just yet, at least not from Main Street. Taxpayers around the globe are still fuming about their respective government’s multibillion dollar bank rescue schemes, prompting no shortage of snarky editorials pointing to bloated paycheques and bankers’ cavalier actions for the financial meltdown.

Where the jobs are

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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.

Job Bank – Nov.13

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on November 13, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

EVOLUTION SECURITIES LTD

The U.K.-based independent investment bank hired Guy Cornelius, formerly a managing director of Lehman Brothers International as head of Fixed Income.

Job Bank – Nov.12

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The following financial services industry appointments were announced on Nov. 12, linked where possible to personal profiles on LinkedIn. To inform us of other job changes, please e-mail moves@thomsonreuters.com.

BREWIN DOLPHIN INVESTMENT BANKING

The investment manager appointed Nick Owen as the head of Corporate Broking, Michael Parkinson as head of Research; David Green as head of Sales and Trading, Matt Davis as deputy head of Corporate Finance and Jock Maxwell-Macdonald as deputy head of Sales. The company also promoted Jamie Cumming to Deputy Head of Investment Banking.

The new Wall Street doesn’t include champagne

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In the 1987 cult classic movie “Wall Street“, Michael Douglas plays a ruthless stockbroker desperate to cash in on a seemingly endless supply of wealth and swanky perks lavished on hot-shot traders.

Ahhh, the 80s…

More than twenty years later, most would agree that corporate greed still exists — but the perks may be dwindling.

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