Today is the day that both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan will announce their fourth quarter and full year results for 2012. Both banks are likely to have done comparatively well. However, Goldman appears to have started this year engaged in far more hiring than JPMorgan.
A quick comparison of the number of jobs advertised by each bank on their very own careers sites since the start of January reveals that Goldman has posted a total of 61 jobs globally this year (excluding asset management roles). By comparison, JPMorgan has posted only 20 jobs in its investment bank.
Last year, Lloyd Blankfein said Goldman's hiring would be focused on 'high value locations' like Mumbai and Salt Lake City. However, many of the jobs posted by Goldman this month are in New York and London. Including its new asset management roles, Goldman is advertising 12 new jobs in EMEA, 43 in the US and 18 in Asia.
By comparison, JPMorgan's investment banking hiring so far this year appears to be focused on the City of London. The bank has posted 10 new City-based investment banking jobs on its own careers site since January, compared to just five in New York.
As is typically the case, most of the jobs advertised on banks' own websites are for back office, risk and technology jobs. However, Goldman is looking for an institutional sales person in Saudi Arabia, and for VPs for its FICC team in New York. JPMorgan says it wants to fill various new front office roles, including an analyst-level corporate bond researcher in London and a investment banking associate for its diversified industrials team in New York.
If Goldman is looking for more new bankers than JPMorgan, JPMorgan is at least engaged in far more hiring than Morgan Stanley. Having announced 1,600 redundancies in its investment bank last week, Morgan Stanley doesn't appear to be hiring many people at all in the major financial centres. Since January it's advertised just 3 new positions in London and 13 in New York - with all the US jobs except one being in wealth management. Instead, much of Morgan Stanley's hiring so far in 2013 appears to be focused on cheaper Hungary, where it has an IT and quantitative finance operation.
Goldman Sachs declined to comment for this article and JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley failed to return requests for comment.
2013 is very unlikely to emerge as a mammoth hiring year akin to 2010, when Goldman Sachs alone added 3,000 people. Deutsche Bank is predicting another 6-7% headcount reduction in investment banks globally this year. Headhunters are of the opinion that 2013 isn't looking very promising. "I'm pessimistic about this year," says the head of one search firm in London. "Banks have got a very high cost base - fixed salaries are too high and even if they pay zero bonuses, people won't leave. They are going to have to reduce headcount."
Deutsche Bank predicted that equities revenues would pick up this year, but the head of one equities search firm says this won't encourage hiring. "Equities is still overstaffed," he said. "Any hiring that happens will be more replacement than build. There's no institution engaged in big equities hiring this year." A recent study by research firm Coalition found that equities headcount fell nearly 9% in 2012.