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Morning Coffee: Exhaustion in the City as banks refuse to hire. Here’s how long it takes to reach the top at JPMorgan

Up all night on IPOs

People working in the City of London are exhausted. Sallow faced, slack jawed and overwhelmed with lassitude, they drag themselves about wishing only that the banks they work for might hire a few more people to help scatter their increasingly burdensome workload more widely.

So suggests recruitment firm Robert Walters.  In the company’s latest results announcement, Robert Walters CFO Alan Bannatyne said Robert Walters’ London-based recruiters are encountering, “a lot of tired individuals.” As initial public offerings increase, people in the City have more work to do, said Bannatyne. Banks are cruelly refusing to hire, thereby “putting pressure on existing employees.”

This seems conceivable. However, Bannatyne’s analysis seems one-sided. This year’s 51% first quarter uptick in EMEA equity capital markets issuance will only affect equity capital markets bankers, equity researchers and equity salespeople and equity traders (when they haven’t been replaced by electronic execution systems).  Away from equities, people have been less busy this year. M&A revenues are only up 11%.  High yield is booming but overall European debt capital markets activity in the first quarter was at its lowest level since 2001 according to Dealogic. Fixed income sales and trading revenues are expected to be down (again) on lower volatility and reduced risk appetite.  Robert Walters typically deals with middle and back office banking professionals.  Blaming an uptick in IPOs for widespread exhaustion in London seems curious in the circumstances.

Separately, Daniel Pinto, the new sole head of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank (CIB) has sent a memo which divulges just how long you can expect to work at the bank before you make the management committee.  The average tenure of each member of JPMorgan’s CIB management team is 14 years, says Pinto. Pinto himself has spent his entire career at JPMorgan or its component entities. In some circumstances, it clearly makes sense to spend more than five years working for a single employer after all.


London-based sales and trading executives Guy America, James Kenny, Tim Throsby, Alessandro Barnaba and Sikander Ilyas – have all been handed expanded roles at Pinto's JPMorgan. (Financial News) 

Having increased headcount in London and New York substantially, VTB Capital is now cutting it again. On some desks, 25% of staff are being made redundant. (Financial Times) 

A reminder that Goldman Sachs' fixed income sales and trading revenues have declined for four consecutive years. (Wall Street Journal)

Bank of America has hired some senior bankers from JPMorgan and Greenhill for its offices in Germany and Sweden. (Businessweek) 

Rise of the boutiques: Zaoui & Co has only been operating for six months and is now advising on the Lafarge and Holcim merger alongside BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. (Telegraph)

Felix Salmon reviews Flash Boys: “The stock market is not fair, it never has been, and it never will be.” (Slate) 

Guy Hands is making a new fortune selling resin rabbits. (New York Times)  

Related articles:

Goldman Sachs raises the bonus bar. Why high paying Hong Kong jobs are risky

Goldman says it rejects 96% of applicants. Banks have hiring freezes in London

How to get ahead in banking by Blythe Masters, Ruth Porat. Hedge funds that are hiring





AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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