By all accounts, investment banks' recruitment is going down faster than the complimentary alcohol at a banking Christmas party. Behind the scenes, however, Europe's top investment banks are quietly hiring a few select people.
The case for banking-jobs-gloom has been well-rehearsed. The latest London 'employment monitor' from financial services recruiters Morgan McKinley suggested finance jobs advertised in London were down 32% in November compared to October, a larger than average seasonal drop. Barclays has reportedly imposed an indefinite hiring freeze and thousands of redundancies are due at European banks in 2016.
And yet, Europe's finest are hiring. They're just not saying much about it.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Register shows that Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays have all made significant experienced hires in the past few weeks. In some cases, the new recruits joined in October and were only just logged with the regulator. In others, they genuinely seem to have joined in the dying weeks of the year
Deutsche Bank, for example, has just hired Jimmy Bastock, a former investment banker from Barclays. Bastock spent three years at Barclays, and five years previously at RBS.
Deutsche also hired Leena Solanki, a senior portfolio sales trader from BAML, and Xi Chen, a junior rates structurer from Deutsche. It moved Pallav Vasa, a junior FVA and rates trader in its Mumbai office, to work in London - suggesting that macro desks are being staffed with low cost juniors as cost-cutting bites.
Credit Suisse, meanwhile, has quietly picked up Trung Huynh, an associate-level biotech equities researcher from Jefferies. It's also hired Greg Brandtner, who previously spent six years at Citi's global markets division and two years at SocGen, and Henricus Koppenens, who spent a year and a half at BAML and two years at UBS. Brandtner joined as head of sales for the emerging markets group in South Africa.
Barclays has been the most restrained when it comes to making experienced hires. In the past month, most of the British bank's newly-registered employees have been analysts and associates who joined in the summer. However, Jes Staley has sanctioned one mid-level recruit at the British bank. Linyu Foo joined Barclays' index portfolio and risk solutions business from Deloitte, where she spent two years as a consultant.
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