More Jobs Open Up as LBO Units Expand

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LBOs, structured debt, and junk bond issuance is picking up in the U.S. and Europe. So it's new surprise job opportunities are growing in leveraged finance divisions at global banks, both boutique and large investment firms, larger commercial finance companies and private equity firms.

Word is there's already spotty hiring at Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays Capital. All of them are looking to beef up their leveraged finance divisions with seasoned pros. They're on the lookout for analysts, vice presidents and managers. Analysts with healthcare expertise are especially in need at a number of companies.

Novices or even those with some other finance background shouldn't expect to get into the space anytime soon though, says Hilary Harrison, managing director for Career Group Search, a recruiter focused on investment professionals. Mid-Career and senior folks are the ones in demand.

Harrison notes that the job market for in the sector really began to improve during 2010's fourth quarter as boutique investment banks and buy-side firms hired analysts and associates. Additional bodies will be added at bigger investment firms in 2011, she expects. "They were very cautious about hiring in the sector in 2010, but there's now been some movement in leveraged finance," she says. Banks are also looking to build out their divisions.

For now, global banks and large commercial finance companies are doing a bit of poaching at senior levels, says Harrison. The moves began early last year and are still going on. GE Capital's been picking up seasoned professionals as its builds out its European leveraged finance business.

So what's the outlook? Projections say 2011 should be gangbusters for LBOs in the U.S., welcome news for those looking to jump ship or move up the ranks. Europe has experienced a turnaround as well, and this year should be good for the sector there, as well.

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