It’s been a while. Goldman Sachs made its big round of job cuts in January, followed by a smaller round in June; Morgan Stanley announced 3,000 job cuts in May. Four to eight months later, many senior investment bankers from those rounds are still out of the market.
“There’s not a massive bid for talent across the larger banks yet,” says one ex-Goldman IBD executive director (ED) who left in the first round. “Most people who are out of the market are looking at doing something different.”
A Morgan Stanley London managing director (MD) who left in May tells he’s one of them. He’s given up looking for a new job and will be doing something else instead.
The thing is, that when you’ve left a tier one bank, you typically want to join another one. The Goldman Sachs ED explains there are job offers available, just not from the right firms: “I’ve turned down five offers. The only bulge brackets that are hiring are places like BNP Paribas and Santander.”
There’s some hope that hiring will pick up after the over-subscribed ARM IPO. But bankers say there’s unlikely to be a real resumption of hiring until at least Q2 next year, and when it happens, superfluous senior people won’t be at the top of shopping lists.
“Banks have lost some good people this year, but they didn’t lose their best people,” says another headhunter. “When they start hiring again, it will be VPs and directors they’re interested in.”
In the meantime, many senior people have made enough money to take time out. One in his 50s says he’s had enough. Another in his early 30s says he’s had an amazing summer with his children. He’s going into a new job soon, and it won’t be just any new job. “Everything about selecting a new job is about the risk/reward trade-off,” he says. “You don’t want to go to a smaller firm with less track record just for the reward.”
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