We've mentioned previously that, generally speaking, investment banks are increasingly reluctant to roll out big front office tech projects and as a result recruitment has remained subdued. There is, however, one exception - equity derivatives.
Over the last month alone, there's been a sudden proliferation of technology roles related to equity derivatives platforms, suggest recruiters. This is across the board - business analysts, developers and project managers are all being hired.
"We work with seven major investment banks and, while the market has generally slowed in the last couple of months, they are all recruiting for equity derivatives IT roles," says Cat Halliwell, sales operations manager at IT in finance recruiters 7 Fifty Two Solutions.
For some investment banks, equity derivatives provided a rare bright spot in otherwise bleak second quarter results. BNP Paribas, for instance, credited its improved equity revenues on the good performance of its derivatives division, while both SocGen and BarCap highlighted the asset class as an improving area.
Financial News this week highlighted Delta One, in particular, as being an area where a number of banks are currently looking to hire.
Recruiters suggest that most investment banks are looking to enhance their current equity derivatives technology offering, rather than kick-starting huge new projects, but that it's still a comparative area of expansion for the majority of large firms.
Development roles generally offer anywhere between 50-90k, depending on experience, while project managers can expect 80-100k. Most of the projects are related to the front office, where C# knowledge is required.
These roles are unlikely to be a panacea to the lack of new opportunities elsewhere, however. An in-depth understanding of the product is required, which means switching across from another asset class is near impossible.
"Banks are being very exacting about their requirements - candidates have to have experience of equity derivatives; neither cash equities nor credit derivatives experience is valued for these roles," she says.