2021 has begun with a show of strength for recruiters who make their money placing investment bankers. After 2020's weak first half and better second half, there are signs that this could be a good year for investment banking recruitment: SPAC mergers are a thing as last year's acquisition vehicles start spending their money; long-distance deals have become the norm; and corporates are more comfortable spending money.
If you're looking for an M&A job this year, though, it will help to specialize in one of two areas: healthcare, or technology, or maybe even both. "There's a lot of pent-up demand," says one senior headhunter in London. "We're busy and banks are investing in healthcare and technology bankers; they have money to spend."
Some of last year's healthcare banker hires are only landing now. Jason English, a senior banker who was hired from Credit Suisse last year to join Morgan Stanley's healthcare technology team, just arrived in New York. In London, Lazard just welcomed Alexander Lomax from RBC Capital Markets as a VP in healthcare advisory in London.
There were also plenty of senior healthcare hires late in 2020, and they might be expected to recruit as they settle in this year. In London, they include Cailin McGurk, who joined in London from UBS, and Christina Too and Gordon Butterworth who joined Deutsche in August.
In the U.S., the late 2020 healthcare hiring boom was even stronger. In September alone, BNP Paribas hired Steve Blumenreich from Truist; PJ Solomon hired Ryan Stewart from SVB Leerink to lead a new healthcare technology team in September; Stifel hired Patrick Krause in San Francisco and Kojo Appenteng and Chip Bierbaum in New York as MDs into the healthcare services, healthcare tech, and healthcare services teams. In November, Morgan Stanley hired Vanessa Roberts as head of healthcare leveraged finance from Goldman, and TD Bank hired Joseph Suriani from Mizuho.
With new senior hires in place, banks can be expected to fill mid-ranking and junior healthcare roles in the first quarter. JPMorgan is already looking for vice president-level middle market healthcare investment bankers across the U.S., and for healthcare banking analysts in San Francisco. Goldman is alread looking for healthcare analysts and associates in London and San Francisco, and for VPs in California.
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