Bear Stearns boosts depleted research

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Bear Stearns is recruiting in European equity research three years after culling a third of the team. The US bank, which employs about 50 analysts under Roger Hirst, is looking for associate analysts.

The US bank started to build its equity research department after hiring Hirst from Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in 2000 and recruiting analysts to cover healthcare, biotechnology and software to develop its investment banking.

It later slashed the team from 40 to 27 in 2001 and 2002 after the technology bubble burst.

In a job advertisement published last week, Bear Stearns did not specify how many analysts it was seeking in the latest recruitment drive, nor in which industry sectors they would specialise.

However, it is thought that the bank wants to increase its analysis of consumer goods, capital goods and quantitative analysis, which it started covering this year.

Hirst said: "Quantitative analysis is becoming increasingly important to our clients to improve efficiency in portfolio management."

He added that the bank had recruited several equity research staff this year.

Susanne Seibel, a former UBS consumer goods analyst, joined this month to start coverage of the European food and consumer goods sector, while Daniel Cunliffe arrived in June to look at capital goods companies. He previously worked for Morgan Stanley.

Bear Stearns' move echoes that of French brokerage Exane BNP Paribas, which revealed three months ago that it wanted to hire 30 analysts by the end of the year. The drive is in contrast to that of larger banks, which are struggling to make equity research economically viable and have been reducing staff numbers.

Bear Stearns last week beat analysts' expectations by reporting record profits for the three months to the end of August. Surging equities and mergers and acquisitions business helped to offset a fall in fixed income and drove net profits up 34% to $378m (€306m).

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