Around the world: ING cuts staff in Russia while Morgan Stanley hires in Ireland

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Why is ING cutting equities staff in Russia when other banks are hiring?

It’s unusual, even in the current difficult climate, to hear of an international bank pulling back from Russia. It’s perhaps even stranger when the redundancies are focused on equities, an area where a number of firms appear to be hiring.

Dutch bank ING revealed that it was cutting 100 staff in its equity markets desk focusing on Central and Eastern Europe. This primarily means that employees in the Moscow office will be affected; while the bank said it would focus on the ‘core’ markets of Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, its Polish equity desk was spared the axe. ING said that “market conditions remain challenging” in announcing the cuts, but on the face of it, equities appears to be one of the primary areas of growth for banks in Russia currently. [Russia]

The European Union’s new proposal could reduce bonuses by 70%. People should tentatively welcome being paid in debt, however

The European Union’s High Level Expert Group has issued a new advisory report, commonly known as the Liikanen report. This report famously contains various ring-fencing proposals which could be detrimental to capital-heavy fixed income trading businesses at European banks (take note Deutsche, BNP Paribas and SocGen). It also contains a well-flagged suggestion that part of bonuses ought to be paid in the form of so-called bail-in bonds. It revives the popular EU notion that bonuses should be capped – preferably at 100% of salaries. And it contains an all-new idea: bonuses at EU banks should be restricted to the value of dividends paid to shareholders. [UK]

Could Morgan Stanley bring front office jobs to Ireland?

Ireland is not renowned for a proliferation of front office roles and, while most international investment banks have operations in Dublin, the vast majority of these are fund accounting positions. Morgan Stanley is no exception – it employs 26 people within its funds servicing division in Dublin, according to its latest accounts filed at Companies Registration office, and paid an average of $155k (€120k) per head in 2011 (although, like Goldman Sachs, the majority of the salary expenses are likely to be spend on executive staff). [Ireland]

If you have $200m in AUM, private banks will fight to speak to you and may offer you a job within just two weeks

The “visible” job market may be quiet in Singapore private banking – advertised vacancies are drying up – but opportunistic hiring of top performers continues apace, especially at the likes of RBC, Coutts and the local banks. Private banking candidates are cautious about shifting and share the industry-wide fear of “last in first out”, but skill shortages in Singapore mean those who want to move are still in demand. It’s often a case of bankers choosing which firm to work for, not the other way round. [Singapore]

A banker’s lifestyle in Singapore is less Gangnam and more Outram. Players should move to Hong Kong

Borrowing my title reference from K-pop sensation Psy’s latest tune, Gangnam Style, which has now gone viral, I am reminded that glamour is never quite what it seems. Not too long ago, you may have also seen this hilarious internet memo, in which various photos highlight different perspectives held of Singaporeans. Crucially, the polished and upscale image that Singaporeans often hold of themselves does not always square with the reality. This is not too dissimilar in the rarefied world of banking in Singapore. Leaving aside recent redundancies, and the fact that bankers are increasingly facing a squeeze on their burgeoning (compensation) packages, it’s neither convenient nor glamorous to live large on these sunny shores. Here’s why: [Hong Kong]

The Big Four are hiring in Scotland. Here’s who they’re looking for now

Scotland’s Big Four business services firms are hiring, but mainly in consultancy, and for some former employees, it may be time to move back into practice. E&Y revealed recently that it has taken on an additional 50 people in the last year in Scotland, where it now employs over 850 people and recently moved to a new Glasgow office. Currently advertised jobs include IT service desk positions (some with languages) and marketing manager positions. [Scotland]

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