It's not unusual this time of year for firms to take their feet off the recruitment pedal. As year end approaches (and firms like Goldman, Lehman, Morgan Stanley and Bear Stearns close their final fiscal quarter one month sooner than the rest), the focus is usually on profits and bonuses, rather than recruitment. This year it's different. Recruiters will tell you that there has been no discernable slowdown in recruitment activity - across the board.
And it's not just current recruitment activity which is making the news. Firms are also making plans for next year, which is shaping up nicely to be a fine one for recruiters too.
Financial News has reported that Citigroup is looking to gear up in commodities next year, planning to increase staff levels by some 40%. Earlier this year, the firm said that it would nearly double the number of commodity traders to 150 by the end of 2006. The company is also said to be planning more hires in structured credit.
And UBS is said to be planning to continue its hiring spree in fixed income, even though (or perhaps because) the unit produced disappointing third-quarter numbers. Financial News quotes UBS Investment Bank CEO Huw Jenkins, who said that 'it has been a more adverse time (recently), choppier water. But we have been investing in all our businesses, particularly fixed income. We are looking to the long term'. The firm has a reputation for ignoring short-term fads and playing a long game, building up its M&A franchise in the US with several key MD hires during the last downturn.
Finally, the fight for talent in leveraged finance also continues apace. Financial News reports that a nine-person team has just defected to CIBC World Markets from Calyon, just a week after BNP Paribas picked up another team of nine from HVB.