Search firm Sheffield Haworth, ranked second in London for searches over 100k in the 12 months to March by Executive Grapevine, has produced a detailed document on the M&A, capital markets origination and investment banking coverage hiring scene in 2011.
We have drawn out the most salient points for you below.
1) Suddenly, Citi has been hot
In 2010, Citi accounted for 9% of all senior investment banking departures to competitors. This year, it accounted for approximately 0% of such departures.
Equally, this year Citi has been the biggest hirer of senior investment bankers, accounting for than 12% of the total - more than twice as much as its closest hiring rival (BAML).
Sheffield Haworth thinks Citi's success has got something to do with the generous bonuses Citi paid for last year. As we noted in February Citi was said to pay around 70% cash - even to its highest earners.
2) Bank of America Merrill Lynch has had some issues with leakage
Last year, BAML was the big hirer. This year, it hasn't hired nearly so many people and has leaked a few.
However, Sheffield Haworth suggests this has been deliberate as last year's hiring leads to momentum to upgrade the platform. Accordingly, there has also been quite a bit of recruitment here.
3) UBS, Credit Suisse and Lazard have been the most leaky of all
The two large Swiss banks and Lazard have seen the greatest number of M&A, capital markets origination and investment banking coverage departures this year. UBS, in particular, appears to have done little to mitigate this and has plummeted down the ranks of external recruiters. Last year it accounted for around 5% of all external hires; this year, it accounted for 1%.
Sheffield Haworth suggests several causes of UBS's predicament. They include: the Swiss government's tough compensation stance (and therefore poor bonuses) and problems hiring people of sufficiently high calibre to match those they've already got. Because of the latter, it says UBS has taken to promoting people internally rather than hiring from the outside.
4) People are leaving Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs appears to have hired nearly no one, but has suffered departures.
In 2011, it has accounted for around 1% of external hires, according to Sheffield Haworth. It has also accounted for nearly 6% of departures.
5) People are leaving the industry
There are signs of weariness. This year, 10% of all moves were people leaving the industry to do something different. Last year, only 2.5% of people were off to do that.
6) It hasn't been that bad this year
Everyone seems to think 2011 has been dreadful. This is not the case - at least it is not the case in M&A, capital markets origination and investment banking coverage, where external hiring rose 4% year on year.
7) It has been a year dictated by necessity not ambition, and this will continue
2010 was all about rebuilding. 2011 has been about cautious strategic hiring. Unfortunately, Sheffield Haworth thinks this will be sustained into next year.
8) Hiring has shut down, but there are areas of continued openness
There's not much hiring going on now, but William Bown, the report's author, says there's still demand for investment bankers in natural resources (metals and mining and oil and gas) and financial institutions. He's also predicting 'movement' in leveraged finance/high yield, loan syndication, project finance and convertible bond origination. And demand for senior UK, Nordic, and German rainmakers.