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Two firms that are hiring against the grain on Wall Street

The job market on Wall Street is rather difficult to describe in any uniform sense. There’s plenty of hiring happening in certain sectors and just as much firing happening in others. It’s interesting then to see two firms that are bucking the trend by adding staff where others are cutting.

First, there’s Oppenheimer, which is apparently sweeping up as many bond traders, salespeople and researchers that investment banks are willing to cut, according to Business Insider. That’s a lot of people considering the fixed income pains being felt by large bulge bracket banks.

Oppenheimer’s head of fixed income told the site that it has no specific ceiling, “but [it] can continue growing.” However, a few readers were quick to point out that Oppenheimer’s hiring faucet is always on because employees keep leaving. Whether that is true or not is up for debate.

Elsewhere, Wells Fargo, a historically dominant mortgage house, is looking to expand into other businesses that aren’t hurting quite as much. The San Francisco bank is joining the highly competitive world of commercial banking – specifically targeting New York’s apparel industry, according to the Financial Times.

Wells has already hired two commercial bankers from HSBC, a mainstay in the Manhattan market that accounts for nearly $100 billion in annual sales. The move, like Oppenheimer’s, could be looked at as a bit odd considering commercial lending isn’t exactly booming, but several banks have shown a willingness to enter tight markets as others recede, hoping to get the timing right. Here are two of the latest examples.

Acing a Goldman Internship (eFinancialCareers)

We talked to Goldman Sachs about its intern evaluation process, formal training and its best advice for aspiring analysts.

Surviving Private Equity Interviews (eFinancialCareers)

Statistics around the private equity interview process are rather sobering. 300 applications result in 30 recruitment calls, six interviews and then the final two duke it out. Here’s some advice on being the last man or woman standing.

Ethical, Profitable, Or Both? (Bloomberg)

A former Goldman Sachs banker has launched a firm similar to a payday lender, only it’s designed for small businesses, not individuals. It may be the new face of subprime lending.

Murder/Suicide (

J.P. Morgan Chase employee Julian Knott shot and killed his wife in their New Jersey home before turning the gun on himself. He reportedly worked as an executive director in the Global Network Operations Center at the bank.

Not So Subtle (Dealbook)

I think it’s safe to say that Steven A. Cohen is a rather interesting and unrelenting man. The latest evidence involves the $900 million penalty he owed the government after his hedge fund pled guilty to insider trading charges. He was given 90 days to make the payment. He did so on Tuesday, exactly 90 days after the deal was accepted.

Low-Ball Offer (Reuters)

Just how far off is Bank of America’s reported $12 billion settlement offer to resolve the bank’s past mortgage security woes? U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has formally refused to meet with Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan to even discuss a deal. $12 billion, it seems, ain’t gonna cut it.

New Asian Head at JPM (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan has a new China boss. David Li, the former chairman for China at UBS, is replacing Zili Shao, who was named the bank’s Asia-Pacific vice chairman.

Buzz Around the Office

Technically a Win, Right? (NYDN)

A Chicago man who wrote a book just last month titled, “How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona,” was run over by a bull in Pamplona. He did survive though, so the book can’t be that bad.

Quote of the Day: “My mother said to me, 'If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.' Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” – Pablo Picasso

AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor

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