Goldman Sachs might be cutting heads in its New York office, but for any foreign investment bank, the U.S. remains the land of opportunity and the place where money can always be found for new hires.
Rothschild is the latest smaller bank to announce its intention to build its U.S. business. It has €20m to spend and will be hiring senior bankers over the coming months, and has just brought in Michael Speller to lead its debt advisory business.
Boutique investment bank China Renaissance plans to add 30 investment bankers in the U.S over the next two to three years. Japanese bank Mizuho is hiring, so is Nomura (again), Berenberg, UBS and Barclays might make exceptions to its hiring freeze.
This is hardly surprising. The U.S. is huge compared to other regional IBD markets and most investment banks make at least 60% of their revenues there. Building up is all very well, but the U.S. banks dominate their local market (even more than they do in Europe) and it’s been a tough nut to crack.
Olivier Pécoux, co-head of Rothschild, told the FT that the aim was to increase the share of revenues coming from the U.S. to 20%. “Clearly we are under represented in the U.S. It is a bit frustrating because it is taking a lot of time.”
Separately, the WSJ has interviewed nuns at a German convent who have had to start trading to combat the low-interest rate environment. Tiny returns on their savings had meant they couldn’t meet the costs of repairs for either the convent roof or the one car they shared between 28 nuns, so action was needed.
“People often think that the sisters don’t get much from the outside world behind the thick walls of the monastery,” said economist Carsten Klude, who visits there several times a year. “But they have actually proven themselves to be quite the savvy investors.”
Sister Lioba runs a $2.1m fund from her convent office and studies bank analyst notes for insights: “I now understand every third sentence instead every 10th when I started,” she said
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