Banks hiring despite slump

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Several of the big investment banks are still hiring large numbers of professionals, despite the slowdown in the markets.

Bear Stearns has brought its total number of senior and middle-ranking hires in Europe to nearly 30 since January. It strengthened Michael Phair's telecoms team by bringing in Christopher Jaeger from Morgan Stanley.

Along with Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas and ABN Amro, the bank is among the most high-profile recruiters in a market that has seen spectacular job cuts.

Jeremy Sillem, chairman of Bear Stearns International in Europe, said: 'We are close to completing the creation of an investment banking structure in Europe.'

Deutsche Bank has hired some 200 bankers so far this year in its global markets division, which includes fixed-income and foreign exchange. It plans to hire another 40 bankers in corporate finance.

BNP Paribas has recruited 191 people in corporate and investment banking in London alone, as well as some 50 corporate financiers across Europe.

Oliver Ellingham, head of European corporate finance, said: 'We continue to see significant potential, both to increase our client base and to provide corporate finance services to existing clients of BNP Paribas in the coming year.'

Bear Stearns has been the most active in hiring at managing director level in fixed-income and corporate finance. The bank has brought in big hitters such as former Goldman Sachs banker Noel Dunn as head of debt syndication in northern Europe.

It is also building an equity capital markets business in Europe, bringing in Emmanuel Pezier from HSBC Investment Bank as head of equity linked.

The bank is also expected to hire more corporate financiers and has already approached a number of bankers. It has boldly kept hiring, despite the downturn and a paucity of deals.

It did not announce any ECM deals in the first half and has made no impact on the league tables in M&A and DCM. In M&A, it is ranked 35th in Europe, based on announced deals according to Dealogic. However, it recently acted as adviser on AOL Time Warner's 1.15bn (€1.83bn) acquisition of IPC, the UK consumer magazines group, and handled Shire Pharmaceuticals's $350m (€385m) convertible.

Sillem said: 'We've been involved in a number of transactions and we're entirely satisfied with the progress of the business.'

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