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2016 Sales & Trading Hiring Has Already Begun

Date: 27 November 2015

Recruitment within Sales and Trading is particularly buoyant for this time of year. In fact, as 2015 draws to a close, several investment banks have already started hiring for the New Year and many of the best candidates are already being approached for new opportunities.

This is a complete U-turn to previous years when recruitment within Sales and Trading was traditionally quieter because headcount had been filled and fewer candidates were looking to move prior to bonus season. The only candidates being brought on board at this time of year were previously those out of the market.

This year, however, a volatile market is generating much more activity in the sector and Q4 has seen more candidates looking for new opportunities and clients looking to build their teams. A number of Investment Banks are keen to secure top talent and make a key, senior, strategic hires ahead of the New Year. January expects to bring a further uplift in the number of opportunities for the top 25% of candidates, who will receive multiple and competing for offers from various Investment Banks.

Salespeople and Traders, therefore, need to start preparing themselves for the job market now, rather than waiting until bonus season. The market is more liquid at this time than previous years, so if you intend to secure a new position don’t leave it too late or you may risk missing out on the best opportunities that others have already secured. If managers are able to secure headcount now, they are more inclined to make the most of it, as come bonus season their ability to hire may be influenced by wider scale factors within the bank.

Likewise, this means that firms need to get key people in place over the next few weeks in order to move ahead of the competition and meet increased headcount requirements for next year, or risk missing out on the best talent.

A few of the largest banks in both the UK and the US have already confirmed new hires in Markets in the last month ahead of 2016. Nomura, for example, has increased its headcount in its Manhattan office by 50%. UBS has hired four technology investment bankers and is making six senior hires across its Equity Capital Market (including Sales), Leveraged Finance and Industrial M&A departments. Also, according to the Evening Standard, Goldman Sachs in London has also hired several new “ultra-polished” Managing Directors into high-profile positions. Such moves would have been unheard of in Q4 of previous years.

In the Equity space, where hires are key for 2016 growth, we are also seeing an increased number of guarantees for these niche and senior profiles. Boutique houses and Tier 1 banks are looking to secure candidates from larger banks and competitors, luring them with “Head of” and Director level plus roles.

Interestingly, the Financial News website also reported earlier this month that the Equities headcount at the ten largest Investment Banks across the globe has, for the first time, surpassed that in their Fixed Income units since 2010, showing how competitive the Equity market is, and will be.

There is also a higher demand for Salespeople over Traders at the moment, primarily due to lower risk limits within banks. These limits are restricting the number of opportunities available within banks on the trading floor. As a result trading hires are far more targeted at this time of year and are candidate driven, as opposed to vacancy driven.

As more candidates enter the market and hiring increases, it is expected that the market will be incredibly fluid in the coming few months. Clients are advised to move quickly as talented professionals are rarely available for a long period of time and, as a result, firms have to be diligent in their candidate searches.

For more details on the recruitment market within Sales and Trading, if you are seeking a new opportunity or are looking to expand your team, contact Selby Jenning.