Goldman Sachs makes ‘big name’ hire as de-juniorization rolls on

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Goldman Sachs has roped in yet another senior equity researcher as it continues to strengthen its research team under the new regulatory framework MiFID II. Graig Suvannavejh, a veteran equity research analyst who specializes in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, joined Goldman as an executive director earlier this month in its London office.

A Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Suvannavejh comes with 18 years of experience. He is covering the European biotechnology sector at Goldman. Before joining the U.S. bank, he spent 18 months as director of business development for specialty products at pharmaceuticals company AbbVie in Chicago.

MiFID II, which came into effect this January, requires banks to unbundle their research from other services by charging separately for it to avoid conflicts of interest. This can increase cost and erode profits for investment banks, as clients are less likely to pay for the separate research service. It is also expected to lower the prices for access to research, which may eventually lead to fewer equity research jobs in Europe.

To mitigate the risk, Goldman Sachs and other major investment banks are building teams of 'big name' researchers – senior sector specialists like Suvannavejh – who they hope will increase revenues for them under the new MiFID II framework.

One London-based recruiter previously described this as “de-juniorization”. “Goldman traditionally had a lot of junior researchers who were given big responsibilities early. These big hires suggest things might be changing there,” the recruiter told us, commenting on a spate of senior research moves at Goldman that began two years ago.

Suvannavejh's appointment fits perfectly into this pattern of elite hiring because he boasts a sought-after combination of experience in both banks and biotech firms. Suvannavejh started his career with J.P. Morgan as an analyst in 2000 but moved to CIBC World Markets a year later, where he stayed for two and a half years. Over the next decade, his stints included working as a senior publishing equity researcher at UBS and Jefferies, focused on pharmaceuticals and biotech.

Between September 2014 and July 2018, however, Suvannavejh worked in the industry he previously covered as a researcher, taking on senior business development roles at U.S.-based biotech companies Biogen, Alzheon and AbbVie.

Image credit:  RichardJay1141, Getty

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