European equities staff still in demand

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While many banks have been laying off European equities staff in large numbers this year, other banks have found reasons to keep hiring, according to a recruitment report by the headhunter Armstrong International.

Some of those expanding are pan-European firms, the report said. Others are small, local players who found it hard to recruit high calibre employees in the more competitive environment of last year, especially in Germany and Italy.

They are now aggressively building up their operations by scooping up talent laid off by the bulge-bracket firms, the Armstrong report said.

It said those recruiting included:

BNP Paribas, which had been extremely active in the last six months in rebuilding the equities business decimated at the time of the merger between BNP and Paribas in 1999. Its headcount in European equities had risen from 400 to 460 this year. Its research team alone hads grown by 30 analysts, and the firm expected to continue the expansion towards the end of the year.

Bear Stearns spent the first half of 2001 hiring across the board in equities - sales and sales trading, research and equity capital markets. In fixed income also, Germany and Italy were being emphasised and the bank was seeking to improve its European capability in capital management products such as tax structuring, fund-linked product and securitisation.

Bank of America, which hired 32 equity analysts from what was then Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) at the start of the year, was now looking to develop a distribution capability to sell the product. In the short term it was not looking to recruit any more analysts and intended to take a centralised approach to servicing Europe, with all salespeople based in London.

Sanford Bernstein, the US boutique now owned by Alliance Capital, was planning to replicate its US model by concentrating on a limited number of sectors and selling its products on a pan-European basis. The firm was looking to recruit across equity sales and research.

Julius Baer was focusing on replacing key equity people it lost earlier in the year in its French, Swiss and Italian offices.

Banco Santander was said to be hiring specifically in equities in Italy and Spain.

HypoVereinsbank had been aggressively trying to build a German domestic product and has hired 20 people in equities so far this year, spread between various German cities.

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