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Financial Temps Have Their Place on Wall Street

Even investment banks and hedge funds use temporary financial professionals when their workloads demand it.

When investment banks, private equity and hedge funds are involved in major acquisition deals, they sometimes need additional professionals to handle the due diligence necessary to completing the transaction. To fill those needs, these organizations can turn to management consulting and accounting firms, or hire temporary professionals through an agency. We asked John Landers, Wall Street branch manager for staffing firm Robert Half International, to explain the process.

Under what circumstances might an investment firm bring on temporary project personnel?

The typical scenarios involve aggregating research information for analysis, and to cover for permanent staff during medical or personal leave situations.

What kinds of people and skills are typically sought?

In this sector, education is very important. Professionals with degrees from prestigious Ivy League schools are in high demand. Strong technical skills are also critical, such as with Microsoft Excel, Access and VBA (visual basic applications). The demand for project roles typically is for associate-level professionals. The more experienced professionals are usually hired on a full-time basis.

How long do these assignments usually last? Is there a chance they can lead to a full-time position?

Most firms use project professionals for what would be considered longer-term engagements, meaning two or three months. Many employ project professionals with the intention of hiring them as permanent employees once the assignment is completed.

Is this type of need more typically going to arise at a smaller, boutique bank with less full-time staffing resources, or do the bigger firms also have these needs?

We are seeing high demand across the board, from companies of all sizes.

Where do you find the people to fulfill these kinds of needs?

The majority of the candidates we find are through referrals or local academic institutions.

What kind of person finds this type of employment appealing?

Recent graduates tend to find project work the most appealing. Some of them prefer this option as a way to "test out" a prospective employer before determining if they would be interested in a permanent position with the firm. Others enjoy the variety of exposure to several companies, roles and work environments before determining their career path.

How are temporary professionals different from management consultants?

The biggest difference is cost savings. Management consultants can cost up to several hundreds of dollars per hour. Project professionals are a much more cost-effective solution, plus they provide the option of temp-to-hire, which the use of management consultants does not.

AUTHORAnonymous Insider Comment
  • Ma
    Mark Feffer
    16 April 2007

    Hi Carl -

    See our UK site at for more about what's going on in London.

    Mark Feffer

  • Ca
    16 April 2007

    Interesting but US centric (as this site indeed appears to be). I am UK based and I originally studied Physics and Maths at Imperial and Oxford, worked at Goldman Sachs (equity derivatives research), Credit Suisse (corporate finance), and then a hedge fund, then myself, before studying law and would be very interested in a summer job either to fund next year, or to return to Ibanking in a more technical role, possibly derivate-related e.g. structured products/risk. Does anybody know any London agencies who offer such temporary/internship roles?



    ( to contact me)

  • st
    20 February 2007

    The comment by "anonymous" on 01 Feb 2007 is on the point. Certainly attending an Ivy League would be ideal. But classroom space is limited, and sometimes students who are Ivy undergrad dont make the cute for Ivy grad. Yeah, so? Simultaneously, those who dont make Ivy under, but Ivy grad, are treated as Ivy material. If one and the other both are both Ivy at some point, but are discriminated against because they arent Ivy League at the time of application, then doesnt it mean that the firm's are looking only for superficial status, regardless of confidence, ability, or reliability?

    This has been my experience with classmates and friends at other universities.

  • An
    Angel X.
    12 February 2007

    A good article explaining about how financial temps are entering the industry. My concern however is that most financial management companies or corporations are looking for Top-Ivy League prestigious colleges and universities, presenting an academic discrimination for students that aren't able to assist these schools. There have been several cases where someone who has been either been denied or rejected from great job opportunities due to their assistance at a non-Ivy League school like the City University of New York. I believe if the person has the qualifications, the 3.0 Grade Point Average, or higher from non-Ivy League school is just as good as the student that comes from Ivy League. Some of these non-Ivy League colleagues are sometimes even more qualified to fulfill the position accordingly. I am explaining in terms of personal experience of where several people with no degree or just comes from an Ivy League school are offered better job opportunities and much more money then non-Ivy League job seekers. That's consider an academic discrimination and it is wrong plus unlawful in their roles. This discrimination needs to stop immediately and give the non-Ivy League job seekers the same opportunity to earn their money like the top-tier schools.

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