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Banks, Asset Managers Begin Hiring Again

May 7th, 2020

bank building

Amidst a volatile stock market that's seen more ups and downs -- more ups than downs in the last few weeks -- than a roller coaster, more than a few banks did so well in the first quarter some have resumed hiring while their employees are beginning to anticipate year-end bonuses.

"As the pandemic persists, there are signs that banks are biting the bullet and going ahead with interviewing and onboarding remotely," writes Sarah Butcher of eFinancialCareeers.

As might be expected, hiring is slower than it was before offices were closed and employees began working from home. Still, bank job postings in London ticked up in the last two weeks. In New York, which is weathering the worst of the pandemic, hiring is improving, but more slowly.

Financial recruiters in the UK and here agree that hiring dropped substantially in the first weeks of the pandemic, as the world's financial markets gyrated wildly. However, they report that recently hedge funds and private equity have also begun to add staff. There's an expectation that in the next several weeks, banks and asset managers will quicken the pace of hiring.

"It could turn out to be a busy second half of the year for recruitment," an equities recruiter cautiously told eFinancialCareers.

Bankers themselves are even more optimistic. A survey by eFinancialCareers found two-thirds of finance professionals expect a year-end bonus, with 12% expecting it to be larger than last year's. But that percentage increases to 24% among those working in credit sales and trading and to 20% in equities and 18% in macro trading.

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There may be some hubris in that optimism, though among the leading global banks, most showed revenue gains in several key sectors. According to eFinancialCareers, the M&A sector took the biggest revenue hit, with half of the 10 posting revenues lower than in 2019. But nearly all banks showed significant revenue growth in equities and FICC trading and in their debt capital markets business.

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