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Much of the recruitment in investment banking has focused on risk and compliance, but where is the hiring in the front office?

Where the front office hiring is in the US, UK and Asia in Q2

Forget banks' middle office hiring boom, after positive first quarter results, there’s hiring in revenue-generating roles again. But it’s still very targeted.

Helpfully, recruiters Selby Jennings, part of Phaidon International, have mapped out the job market across Europe (largely the UK), the US and Asia Pacific through a series of updates (available in full here). Market by market, this is where they suggest the recruitment is taking place.

US investment banking: boutiques and junior recruitment

Investment banks in the US are struggling to hold on to their juniors. This has been going on for much of the last 12 months and the expectation is that the reminder of 2015 will leave most firms with a lot of gaps to fill. The gravitation of analysts to the buy-side has meant that investment banks are struggling keep associate level employees.

At more senior levels, Selby Jennings says boutiques are successfully swaying more senior bankers across to their shops and there’s an uptick in demand for healthcare, tech and FIG specialists in line with the increase in deal activity.

In the markets business, they say that the uptick in volatility within FX and rates means that banks are hiring again. However, this restricted to sales jobs - there's no big hiring of traders. Cash equity sales is another growth area. In credit sales it's all about upgrading.

UK investment banking: A revival in mid-level banker hiring

Compared to the US, the City of London investment banking recruitment market remains sluggish. There is, however, one area where Selby Jennings says recruitment has picked up – as we pointed to last week, the pace of hiring for VPs and directors has suddenly perked up this year.

If you’re in a trading function, OTC commodities and emerging market credit, particularly in European investment banks, remain the places to be.

Asia investment banking: Hong Kong is the place to be

Investment banks in Asia are also recruiting juniors. However, their focus is not across the board; they have a preference for those who have been trained within Wall Street firms. Phaidon says hiring remains robust in advisory functions, despite a number of banks cutting back in recent months. However, a lot of this is down to replacement hiring. Investment banks are struggling to hold on to senior bankers who are moving into private equity.

As investment banks in Asia increasingly target clients in Mainland China, firms are recruiting Mandarin speakers in Hong Kong, which remains the biggest hiring market. Shanghai and Beijing, however, are also hot spots for investment banking recruitment.

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AUTHORPaul Clarke

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