The Front Office struggle

The amount of hiring has significantly reduced across almost the entire Front Office. Both Primary and Secondary Markets have been affected with perhaps the only positive increase being in the equities space.

The main driver of this is increased regulation and the cost of capital in areas such as Fixed Income. Jonathan Swannell, who leads the Global Banking & Markets practice at JD Haspel says: “This doesn’t mean to say that there is no hiring going on at all, but it is very selective. There is also some interesting activity being driven by smaller banks – they have particular niches that are active. But generally, the overarching trend is a continued reduction of headcount in Fixed Income.”

Other areas, such as Capital Markets and Investment Banking have also seen very selective hiring activity - generally there have been very small volumes of targeted senior hires to plug specific gaps but there has been no great volume increases. Investment Banking is improving in certain sectors where there might be strong M&A activity, but this doesn’t translate across the board. And despite there being a positive outlook in terms of expectations for the market to improve, banks are still being cautious and aren’t letting expectations translate in to hiring just yet. Instead, as the level of transactions increase, existing staff are having to work harder – in other words, banks are doing more with less.

The way in which banks are paying people has changed too, due to the pressure from the EU over bonus caps. And while it might be thought that this would lead to a talent exodus from Europe looking at opportunities in places such as the US, reassuringly, this doesn’t seem to be the case. People aren’t leaving the continent for better pay packages - instead banks have had to adjust the structure of their total remuneration offering so that base salaries rise in order to offset the falling bonuses.

However, this increase in base salary means that banks’ fixed costs are being driven up. This, coupled with the pressure on revenue, means that the only solution is to cut headcount – creating another reason for surviving traders to work harder. And because remuneration levels are reasonably flat across all banks, candidates are no longer being leveraged by increased pay for the same roles. “People are no longer incentivised to make a like for like move because compensation is rarely a differential,” says Swannell. “They now want to move either to a significantly better platform, or to a broader role within an equivalent or smaller firm.”

Global Banking & Markets - Primary Markets industry consultant listings

Blackwood Group

Amanda Smithson - Investment Banking

Emily Taylor - Investment Banking


William Foley - Global Banking & Markets, Private Equity, Alternative Assets

Aidan Kennedy - Investment Banking, Capital Markets

Egon Zehnder

Albert Laverge - Investment Banking


Thomas Lindberg - Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Equity Capital Markets, Equity Research

Hammond Partners

Juliet Garforth-Bles - Capital Markets & Financing, Investment Banking

Heidrick & Struggles

Sopie Scholes - Investment Banking

Hogarth Davies Lloyd

Guy Davies - Investment Banking

JD Haspel

Jonathan Beall - Investment Banking, Corporate Finance, Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Capital Markets, Corporate Banking

Jonathan Swannel - Corporate Banking, Investment Banking

Korn Ferry

Helen Griffith - Investment Banking

The Mulsanne Partnership

Adam Saunders - IBD, Primary Markets

MWM Consulting

Louise Vøttrup - M&A, Corporate Finance, Risk

Russel Reynolds Associates

Justine Wimble - Global Banking

David CooksonFinancial Officers

Sainty Hird & Partners

Christopher Beatson-Hird - Investment Banking

Julian Sainty - Investment Banking

Sheffield Haworth

Gilbert Swann - Corporate & Investment Banking

Spencer stuart & Associates

Mark Eban - Global Banking & Markets

Nigel Lloyd - Global Banking & Markets

Chris Hart - Global Banking & Markets

Global Banking & Markets - Secondary Markets industry consultants listings


Adrian Ezra - Capital Markets, Derivatives

Bill Allum - DCM, ECM

Alex Horlock - Fixed Income Trading & Structuring

Sarah Sopher - Equity Derivatives, Fund Derivatives, Programs, Electronic, Arbitrage Trading

Hammond Partners

Emily Hargreaves - Cash Equities, Corporate Broking, ECM, Equity Derivatives

Andrew Jenkins - Fixed Income

Hogarth Davies Lloyd

James Charlesworth - Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities

James Hogarth - Fixed Income, Currencies, Commodities

Korn Ferry

Helen Griffith - Asset Management

Pelham Ltd

Philip Cardona - Fixed Income

Alex Williams - Equities

Principal Search

Paul Chrispin - Energy, Power, Commodities

Nick Williams - Energy, Power, Commodities

Pure Search

Simon Head - Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange

John Newstead - Equities

Colleen Quilty - Commodities

Sainty Hird & Partners

Ralph Grayson - Equities, Investment Banks, Hedge Funds

Nicholas Reed - Equities, Derivatives

Sheffield Haworth

Damian Goodburn - Commodities

Linda Klemme - Emerging Markets, Fixed Income

Dominie Moss - FIC, Foreign Exchange, Fixed Income

Spencer Stuart & Associates

James Trimming - Global Financial Markets, Equities, Fixed Income, Commodities

Stonehaven Associates

Tom Curry - Capital Markets, Equities

The Mulsanne Partnership

Anthony Barry - Fixed Income, Credit