With real-world events as they stand, it seems a bit ridiculous, if not wishy-washy, to use phrases such as “war for talent” or “recruitment battle” to describe the difficulties faced by investment banks. over the past two years to attract new negotiators. . Anyway, Lazard’s Ken Jacobs suggested in a post-results interview that, in terms of hiring at the MD level at least, “I don’t want to jinx it, but it’s a little less difficult at the time than it was at this time last year”.
This does not mean, however, that he has stopped trying himself. Lazard recruited former Deutsche Bank investment banking chief Marcus Schenk last month and has hired more than 20 senior executives in the past year. In fact, Jacobs thinks deal flow is sustainable at near-term record highs and clients are starting to pick up conversations again after an “air pocket” of risk aversion in the first quarter. The market cooling was just one observation – as far as Lazard is concerned, it “is going to create a lot of opportunity” and they plan to take advantage of that and continue to add seniors at slightly less inflated prices.
So everything is fine ? Not necessarily. As the old proverb for traders goes, financial markets revolve around the second derivative – the rate of change of the rate of change. It appears that capital markets and consulting franchises are still growing, but may no longer be growing at an accelerated rate, which still tends to remove price pressure from each market, as buyers (and renters ) lose their sense of urgency. This has contributed to the sense of opportunity in people like Ken Jacobs.
And unfortunately, sometimes when something starts to slow down, that’s the first sign that it might be about to stop, or even go in the opposite direction. The bullish scenario for employment in investment banking currently appears to have become very dependent on the continued activity of financial sponsors, and although private equity funds are still seeing inflows, they cannot be completely out of the market. shielded from a rising interest rate environment. Leveraged buyout loans are coming under increasing regulatory scrutiny, and while clients have started talking about offers again, it’s not the same as making them. After all, if anyone started to be cautious in February, it’s hard to say that the first quarter earnings season will have reassured them.
Which in turn could have implications for the type of people who are considering changing jobs. If you are hired to be a rainmaker, it is understood that you must start making rain, fairly quickly, at the new location. Otherwise, the people who hired you might begin to suspect that your personal candor wasn’t as strong as you claimed in the interview. When you combine this with the general practice of last in, first out, which tends to be a factor in otherwise balanced decisions, it’s never a great chance to switch banks just when a cycle is on the point to change.
Elsewhere, in every trade, there are two types of work. There are the things you are promoted for; doing business and trade, but also recruiting, strategy and business development. And then there are “unpromoted tasks” or “office cleaning”. Things like taking notes during meetings, organizing the induction of new employees, being a firefighter or being part of a liaison committee.
It’s been noticed for some time that the second type of task tends to be disproportionately assigned to women, and now the authors of a new book called ‘The No Club’ have laid out strategies for female employees to step back and get a fairer treatment. distribution of these. Perhaps surprisingly, the authors tend to emphasize sensible, mature strategies like gathering information, forming support groups, and trying to revamp the management system. Rather than the tried and true methods used by men to avoid real housework around the house – act like you’re no good and don’t understand, postpone and procrastinate until someone else does the job in your place, or just throw a good old-fashioned tantrum and an offended act of being questioned.
The private equity industry is becoming a competitor to investment banks as well as a customer. KKR’s equity capital markets platform raised $20 billion last year (most but not all for KKR-owned companies). They have now hired Hannah Malter from UBS to build an Asian platform and Andrew Kolmar from Barclays to join the team behind non-KKR transactions in North America. (Bloomberg)
If you’re wondering what happened to former Goldman trader Aziz McMahon, the guy who retired after making his fortune speculating in Dogecoin, he’s now the chairman of a small-cap biotech company who hopes to be listed in London. It doesn’t sound as exciting as crypto, until you learn a few things about its CEO and business partner… (FT Alphaville)
James Ianazzo, formerly of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, was lucky to avoid jail time after being arrested earlier this year, though his career may take some time to recover from LinkedIn mentions for “tirades smoothie shop racists”. He also accepted an order prohibiting him from returning to the smoothie shop. (Bloomberg)
One is an event, two is a coincidence, three is…? UBS’s David Chin becomes the third China head of a major investment bank to step down this month, joining JPM’s Houston Huang and Credit Suisse’s Tim Tu (and, incidentally, Goldman Sachs’ Gu Jiangang wealth management). (Finews)
“Know that the public is bored before you even open your mouth”. Tips for anyone who needs to speak at a conference. (FT)
While the Robinhood layoffs might have been seen as an indicator that retail investment is running out of steam, Fidelity doesn’t think so — in a ‘hiring spree’, they plan to create 12,000 new jobs. by September, thus increasing the total workforce by 19%. (Business Insider)
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
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