Sadly, Morgan Stanley's mega-risk hiring is mostly over

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It is with regret that we inform you that if you wanted to get in on Morgan Stanley's risk re-build you've probably left it too late.

Financial News reported yesterday that Morgan Stanley has 'more than doubled' the size of its market risk team over the past two years.

Needless to say, Morgan Stanley's ramping up risk taking. Excessive caution contributed to it falling badly behind Goldman in terms of sales and trading profitability for 2009.

Late last year, Morgan Stanley formed a new risk committee to keep tabs on risk as it ups the ante in 2010. The bank's record of managing market risk isn't great - it made over $7.8bn of trading losses in 2007 after misreading the direction of the market in the run-up to the subprime crisis.

However, risk recruiters working with Morgan Stanley say its enthusiasm for adding risk staff is now waning. "Morgan Stanley has grown a lot, but it's come to a halt now," says one.

The bank declined to comment.

With Morgan Stanley largely out of the risk hiring picture, Barclays Capital, Nomura, and RBS are expected to remain among the biggest hirers of risk professionals in 2010.

UBS may also be expected to hire risk professionals as it rebuilds in fixed income. Last year, the Swiss bank was said to have merged some of its credit and market risk team in an effort to create a more 'holistic' form of risk analysis. However, recruiters say this has been jettisoned due to apparent difficulties finding people to combine the two disciplines.

"Credit risk modelers and counterparty risk professionals are most in demand, but demand for market risk professionals to work on equity derivatives desks is also coming back," says Priya Mariannie at recruitment firm PSD Group.

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