6 jobs that tell you everything about banks in 2015

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We're in the quiet period: the dead months of deep summer when managing directors are on holiday and vice presidents are given a taste of power, when recruiters are on month long Starbucks sabbaticals and interns in TM Lewin suits emerge blinking into the light for Pret A Manger crayfish sandwiches before returning to their bunkers until two in the morning.

But beneath the torpor, there is still hiring going on. There are still jobs out there. They're not necessarily the sorts of glitzy front office jobs that pay you six figures and buy a summer rental in the Hamptons, but they do exist. And some are strangely representative of the finance zeitgeist. If you want to understand what's happening in banks now, we suggest you look at the following vacancies.

1. Goldman Sachs, activism defense associate, NYC

It's a big year for M&A. Advisory revenues at Goldman Sachs rose by a monumental 62% year-on-year in the second quarter. Over the same period, M&A revenues globally were up 34%. 

As M&A has increased, so has demand for M&A juniors. And so has 'activist hedge funds' involvement in deals. There are still plenty of M&A analyst and associate roles to be had, but Goldman Sachs has one of the most interesting. The firm is hiring an, 'activism defense associate' for its revamped 'activism defense practice.' The job will involve advising 'corporate clients with respect to their current or potential vulnerabilities to shareholder activism and hostile activity.' Whoever gets the job will work on 'live raid defense' and 'proxy fight defense' situations.' Perfect for anyone into military metaphors.

2. SocGen, Bitcoin developer 

The banking industry is embracing Bitcoin, Blythe Masters' ex-husband is now Mr .Bitcoin and BNP Paribas is looking at ways of incorporating Bitcoin into its currency funds. In the meantime, SocGen is mysteriously hiring a Bitcoin developer. It wants someone to work on Bitcoin, blockchains and crytpo-currencies who can engineer, 'ways to gather quantitative information on what’s really happenning in the crypto-currency world.' Perfect for esoteric conspiracy enthusiasts.

3. Deutsche Bank, Illiquid bond trader

Before Anshu Jain exited Deutsche Bank, he bemoaned the growing illiquidity of the bond markets as a result of regulatory measures that have discouraged market making. Other senior banking figures have voiced similar concerns.

Coincidentally, therefore, Deutsche is advertising for a trader to work with precisely those bonds that are most illiquid. This could be a big growth area in future.

4. Citigroup, relationship analyst/associate based in Athens

With the Greek stock market closed for nearly a month, equity traders and salespeople in Athens haven't had much to do. Citi still wants people to sell its full range of banking services to Greek corporates, however. The US bank is looking for an analyst or associate to work as a relationship manager to 'build and grow' its relationship with Greek clients. The lucky individual will, 'orchestrate the delivery of Citi’s vast global product platform and develop integrated financing strategies, by acting as a primary point of contact with the clients, and by working closely with Citi’s Investment Banking, Global Capital Markets, and Global Transaction Services divisions.' As Greece implements punitive austerity measures, this could be interesting.

5. Goldman Sachs, machine learning architect 

As we reported a few weeks ago, a machine learning qualification is becoming the new ticket to the most interesting jobs in finance and technology firms. Goldman Sachs is looking for a 'machine learning architect' from a 'premier school' to work on 'data capture, data aggregation, data enrichment, algorithm development and algorithm implementation.' Sound interesting? After a few years you could always quit and work for Google's artificial intelligence unit.  

6. J.P. Morgan, LIBOR submission controler 

Following the LIBOR manipulation scandal, the way the London Interbank Offer Rate is calculated has changed. LIBOR is now managed by the Intercontinental Exchange instead of the British Bankers Association and is more strongly anchored in actual transaction data than human judgment. Even so, banks still need to ensure there's no foul play. J.P. Morgan is hiring an associate level, 'benchmark submission control and reporting professional' in London. Involving 'reconciliations specific to benchmark submissions' and interaction with the legal team in response to 'regulatory data requests', this may not be the most interesting job in banking, but it is wholly reflective of the kinds of jobs banks are hiring for now.

(Photo credit: Psycho Delia) 

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