Layoff announcements notwithstanding, financial services executives profess an appetite for opportunistic hiring and also voice greater optimism about acquisitions and capital investment than their counterparts in other industries, according to McKinsey & Co.
A McKinsey survey last month found that "Just over a fifth (21%) in financial services said they were keen to hire talent that otherwise would have been unavailable, compared to 20% in professional services, 16% in high-tech and 10% in manufacturing," reports Financial News.
Finance ranked second among the four sectors in executives' inclination to seek M&A opportunities, and in intention to maintain capital investment levels. Just one-third of the finance executives polled by McKinsey expected to cut capital investments, while 27 percent expected to introduce new products to benefit from weakened competitors.
Optimism is relative, of course. Forty-three percent of financial services respondents expected their work force to shrink in the next six months, while only 12 percent expected an increased work force.
The survey of 1,424 executives from all regions and industries was conducted a month ago (Nov. 5 - 10). Given high anxiety in financial markets and subsequent bleak economic data, it's possible that attitudes deteriorated since that time.