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This is why you need a finance job in New York or London

Goldman Sachs has been hiring in Frankfurt. Bank of America has been hiring in Paris. JPMorgan added 200 people in the French capital last year. But London and New York are still where the action is.

Last week's report from think tank New Financial on the future of UK banking and finance contained several illuminating charts illustrating why banking jobs elsewhere (and in European financial centres in particular) are not where it's happening. 

The charts are reasonably self-evident. Some have appeared in New Financial reports before, but they are worth re-upping. The best cities for financial services jobs are still New York and still London.

Naturally, there's possible upside to the under-development of other financial markets: the potential for them to grow. This has long been an argument for moving to Paris and Frankfurt. However, as one senior banker points out, the growth hasn't happened yet: "They were talking about disintermediation of corporate banking loans and growth of the financial markets in Germany 20 years ago," he says. 

New York and London account for most of the global market in hedge fund assets, commodity derivatives, non-domestic equities trading and rates derivatives trading...

Source: New Financial

If you're in Europe and you work in derivatives trading or FX trading, you need to be in London, not in Paris or Frankfurt

Source: New Financial

But even when you're in London, U.S. players often dominate the market - particularly in private equity.

Source: New Financial

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash


AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Eo
    10 May 2022

    This is so relative in especially in banking sector in London! I have no doubt that headhunters (or livelivestock trader as most annoyed senior banking professionals call them) do not differentiate between accounting, financial roles and tech, between front-middle-back office role.
    For them all are "banking" in the meantime most the city based banks do not even want to engage with 3rd parties recruiters.They are only used for body hunting - contracts instead.
    London's banking market is so much different to that one pre-brexit and previous years! If you will analyse breakdown roles it isn't market for accountants (those still earing shocking low - if you compare them with generalist from mentioned as example agencies sectors - avg £80k is VP level in back office roles across banking with decades of experience and thousands invested in education)!
    London's banking market is primely driven by front desk roles. In order to have secured position in the city YOU HAVE TO EARN MONEY - not being a back office person. The recruitment of technical person made up most as example Citi bank's openings.
    Where are the rest mid, and more interesting rest back office functions?
    The only exception from this rule are COMPLIANCE and RISK MGMT functions are most recruitment in finance department if happens is on replacement basis only! Back office departments are further consolidated, numbers less sensitive tasks have been outsourced to bank's SSC and Delivery Centres(check Poland - with their 4x smaller market how many London's based banks have from junior-mid-senior SVP and VP opportunities!)
    It is insane to notice that London against this mainstream nonsense is more focus on investment side (buy/sell) than management and core finance roles. The disproportion between front and back office is measured by fraction at least 2-3x, when at the same time employers do not allow experience candidates to shift offices, having lost of transferable skills to offer.
    From no brainer destination for strategic level , HQ roles London is beneficial to only those colleagues in front desk and sales related roles. The same roles which are requiring traditionally much less in terms of qualification, education but more rely on previous similar experiences.
    No i wouldn't recommend London to somebody appreciated work & life balance (previous London is long time dead, the new one requires "unlimited working, task related hours" at environment when most especially back office financial teams have been reduced. The only thing defending London is fact of decision makers and traders still holding to HQs based in here.

  • Ju
    7 May 2022

    I’ve had a 30 year finance career (investment banking and leveraged lending) and only spent 2 1/2 years in New York. It’s not worth it because in NYC you live in an open outdoor toilet, the climate is awful all year and the city is full of a-holes. In the summer, those a-holes metastasize from the city to the Hamptons. I can’t think of a more miserable existence.

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