Investment banking originators are in demand in Germany and France

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Despite the demand, compensation in Germany remained markedly lower than in the UK, the report said. It added that this year bonus expectations at vice-president levels and above in Germany were 20%-40% lower than the year before.

In both Germany and France, originators in consumer goods were likely to see relatively small declines in bonus this year, as they were regarded as key performers by the bulge-bracket firms, the report said. The best compensated in this sector relative to other teams in their institution were reputed to be at NM Rothschild.

In France, demand for senior originators was strong despite a decline in French mergers and acquisitions activity. Several employees had benefited from lock-in pay agreements over the course of this year. As in consumer goods, relationships were highly prized in energy and power, and telecoms.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lazard and NM Rothschild were in a position to pay above the competitive norm in France, the report said. UBS Warburg and Deutsche had also performed well this year.

In Italy, the best performer in the market this year was undoubtedly Lazard which had pushed up market share in a number of sectors without overextending its cost base.

Compensation rates in Italy were an average of 30% lower than UK rates at Tier One institutions, although key originators at international firms and recently guaranteed hires at domestic banks were expected to see figures closer to London numbers.

Opportunistic hiring was still going on into key sector and geographic teams at every institution, said the report. It identified the following firms:

- Bear Stearns has a continuing requirement to hire a FIG team and country specialists for Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

- BNP Paribas would like to hire senior originators for their Milan and Madrid offices.

- Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein may have put hiring on hold but country coverage talent is sought.

- HSBC is looking to hire a further 100 corporate financiers, particularly in Europe.

- Deutsche Bank is actively targeting senior originators, as is ABN Amro, which is also looking for transaction managers.

- Lehman Brothers has been active in hiring into its Dutch and UK consumer goods and chemicals team and has a high success rate in recruitment, with 70% of offers accepted. The bank intends to hire senior originators in energy and pharmaceuticals by end of the first quarter next year.

- Société Générale still has senior level need in utilities, TMT, consumer goods, industrials, transport and services.