Howard Lutnick, chief executive of New York-based Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, says cutbacks at bigger banks have allowed mid-tier investment banks like his to hire new talent.
Lutnick made the comment at the Davos World Economic Forum, repeating his plans to hire up to 500 people this year between the two firms he runs, Reuters reports.
Cantor Fitzgerald plans to hire about 200 people while inter-dealer broking arm BGC Partners will hire between 300 and 400, Lutnick had said on Bloomberg Television earlier this month.
“These markets give us the opportunity to hire people you never thought would leave the big firms,” he said at that time. “We are in a sweet spot.”
BGC Partners separated from investment boutique Cantor Fitzgerald in 2004 and currently operates an inter-dealer broker, serving banks and investment banks in trading credit, rates and foreign exchange.
Cantor Fitzgerald’s CEO also stated at the Davos meeting that bankers unable to earn their due will inevitably end up sacrificing business.
"If I have a salesman who makes a sale on a very sophisticated product [and] you don't pay [him or her] his fair share, he won't make the sale," Lutnick said.
Beyond that, he was fairly optimistic in his assessment of the latest economic woes.
Whereas some of the bankers at the Swiss Alps forum said the most recent economic troubles appear to be deeper and more permanent than those experienced during former downturns, Lutnick said that 2012 would not be representative of a "new reality," adding that once markets improved, compensation to bank staff would bounce back.