2011 could be the year of job seeking. According to Michael Page, financial services employees are suddenly a lot more willing to look for new positions.
However, as we noted last week, things have changed. 2011 is not 2010. If you want to get a new job this year, there are some things you must NOT do.
1) Demand a guarantee larger than your bonus for 2010
As we have noted numerously, the FSA has made guarantees a lot more difficult to negotiate, except in 'exceptional circumstances' and except where you are earning less than 500k total comp AND your bonus is less than one third of this.
If you are earning more than 500k, even in exceptional circumstances, it will not be possible to negotiate a guarantee that is greater than your previous year's bonus.
Headhunters say this has yet to filter through. "There's a real gap in expectations: most people think they should get a premium when moving," says one.
2) Demand a sign-on which involves the instant vesting of all existing stock
This too has been banned by the FSA. Any buyouts of existing stock must vest according to a schedule no more favourable than that established by your previous employer.
3) Insist that you will only work for a first tier bank
First tier banks did a lot of hiring last year. Goldman, Deutsche, Credit Suisse, UBS and JPMorgan added 9,836 people to their investment banking businesses. As the graph on this page shows, big banks did a lot of hiring in 2010 but didn't get much to show for it in terms of revenues. 2011, therefore, will be about consolidation. One headhunter says Credit Suisse plans to add no more than 50 people (net) across its front office businesses in London this year.
Instead, the real headcount additions will happen in the second and third tier. For a list of who's adding click here.
4) Quit before you've found a new job
You may feel tempted to quit once your bonus has been paid. Don't. The market isn't that good. "The reality is that in the UK being out of a job is looked upon with suspicion," says James Heath, managing director of recruitment firm Greenwich Partners.
5) Insist on receiving an investment banking-style salary if you move to the buyside or private equity
Investment banks have increased their salaries. Buyside firms haven't. If you want to move into private equity or a hedge fund now, you will therefore need to take a salary cut, but may get a higher bonus. Accept this, or you won't move.
"Bankers seem to want private equity firms and asset manager to match their base pay and award them high bonuses and carried interest," says Heath. "There is some reluctance around this," he adds.