Could 2022 be the year in which the long-established trend for “juniorization” in investment banking jobs is replaced by a trend for trimming juniors and bringing-in senior rainmaking types instead?
Recent events at RBC Capital Markets suggest the shift is underway. RBC is busy hiring MDs, but it’s also disposing of a few juniors.
At the start of this year, Derek Neldner, the divisional CEO of RBC Capital Markets said the bank had hired 25 managing directors in 2021 and that it aspired to recruit a similar number in 2022. This seems to be happening, even though RBC’s capital markets and underwriting revenues fell 23% in the first six months. The Canadian bank just recruited Albert Chang from JPMorgan as head of M&A tax and structuring advisory in NYC. This follows the addition of Ryan Bott from Citi as an MD in consumer and retail investment banking and Jim Cronin from Credit Suisse in real estate, both in August, and various others including Rahul Sood in healthcare from Morgan Stanley in July.
When he was being bullish back in March, Nelder didn’t say anything about cutting juniors, but this has been happening too. Last week, Bloomberg reported that RBC cut 1% of its investment banking team, “with the reductions focused on junior staff.” We understand that juniors have also been quietly let go in London.
The number of juniors being let go is small: Bloomberg initially put it at around 10 people. The cuts come after RBC hiked salaries for its analysts twice in a year, to $100k for first years, $105k for second years, and $110k for third years. Managing directors, by comparison, are paid around $400k in New York according to the H1B salary database. But RBC seems to think they’re worth it. A person ‘with knowledge of the matter’ told Bloomberg the bank still plans to hire “aggressively” at the senior end.
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