What with the re-emergence of the European sovereign debt spectre, the future is looking uncertain. The probability is that 2011 will start with less hiring than 2010 and that what hiring there is will be driven mostly by dissatisfaction with bonuses rather than the delirious pursuit of higher revenues.
However, there are pockets of expansionary zeal. On a bank by bank basis, here's where recruiters and media reports suggest the hiring will happen in 2011.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
In September, BAML announced it was removing 400 people from its investment banking business globally after hiring 800 people across investment banking and markets in 2010, of whom 400 are in EMEA and 200 are in EMEA front office.
In 2011, recruiters predict a process of consolidation. "They've still got some hiring on the fixed income sales side," says one. "There are people they would
have liked to have hired at the end of this year, but who were too expensive."
Further hires are also predicted in investment banking sector coverage teams. Under Christian Meissner, the bank has already hired numerous senior rainmakers but is said to still have gaps to fill.
Expect a major slowdown in hiring at BarCap. Having increased headcount by nearly 10,000 since 2006, 75-80% of the bank's buildout is now complete and remaining hires are likely to be focused in Asia.
"Recruitment is going to be a lot more sporadic at Barclays Capital," says one M&A hirer. "They've hired a few people who want to leave, so they'll need to replace them, but the build out is nearly finished."
"They're telling us that they're running quite high in terms of costs, and are trying to run smarter with the people they have," says a fixed income headhunter.
An equities headhunter says BarCap's expected to upgrade, but that mass hiring is over. "A lot of people don't want to go there because they've had issues with their infrastructure," he alleges.
BNP Paribas is hiring and is expected to continue to do so. The French bank may yet shape up as one of the big recruiters of 2011.
In June, BNP announced plans to hire 200-250 people for its FICC business. In October it announced plans to hire 200 people over the next three yeas for cash equities for its joint venture with Exane.
BNP has a low cost base in its corporate and investment bank, and is well placed to expand.
In recent weeks it has made two major hires to its fixed income business in London: Kaushik Banerjee from Deutsche and Allen Sinsheimer from RBS.
Exane BNP has also hired a team of analysts and sales traders from Credit Suisse at an estimated cost of 6m.
"We're expecting BNP to do a fair amount of hiring next year once Sinsheimer is onboard," says one fixed income headhunter.
If BNP Paribas is shaping up to be a big recruiter of 2011, Citigroup is likely to be a gigantic recruiter.
Having reduced staff in Europe by around 14% in 2007 and 2009, Citi reportedly wants to hire hundreds of people into its European investment banking business.
Headhunter say it's still hiring in equities - and buying out bonuses - even this late in the year. Citi is also expected to focus on rebuilding its EMEA investment banking business in 2011 after suffering major losses this year.
"They are very poorly covered in relationship banking," says one M&A headhunter. "They need to hire in TMT, consumer, oil and gas and FIG."
Credit Suisse has expanded its investment banking headcount by 9% in 2010. Like other banks, it has little to show for it. In its Q3 presentation the bank said its flow sales expansion was, "largely complete."
Hiring is likely to be sporadic in 2011. However, headhunters point out that Credit Suisse needs to hire a team of banking analysts to replace those who went to Exane BNP.
Deutsche Bank is not expected to be at the forefront of hiring in 2011. Expect upgrading in equities under Dixit Joshi.
Goldman likes to grow its own rather than hire outsiders and 2011 is likely to be no different. Recruiters predict selective upgrading following the annual extraction of poor performers and the possible reshuffling of roles in the M&A business with Mark Sorrell tipped to move into a chairman type position similar to that previously occupied by Simon Dingemans.
Lloyd Blankfein said recently that headcount in the bank's G10-based businesses had been static over the past five years whilst it had increased at CAGR of 7% in 'growth markets.' Expect hiring outside EMEA.
HSBC is mentioned by various headhunters as a likely candidate for building out in 2011. Recruiters predict hiring, "across equities." However, HSBC is known for its cautiousness. The real focus is likely to be emerging markets.
After hiring massively in 2010 and without much to show for it, Jefferies might be expected to take a slower approach to recruitment in 2011.
However, the bank announced earlier this month that it wants to raise $500m to spend on "hiring talent" and "perhaps expanding trading operations."
Recruiters say it's still hiring coverage bankers and across equities.
Hiring at JPMorgan is expected to be muted in 2011. The bank has expanded headcount 7% in 2010. Headhunters say it's overweight in some areas, particularly cash equities following the Cazenove tie-up.
After building up in equities and M&A and making redundancies in its infrastructure team in London, Macquarie is now reported to be launching a new infrastructure fund in London.
However, recruiters say any hiring is likely to be delayed until a new EMEA CEO is found to replace Benoit Savoret, who left earlier this year.
Morgan Stanley is only 70% of the way through its intended sales and trading hiring and James Gorman says the bank wants to hire salespeople and traders, particularly in rates and FX, next year.
Recruiters say Morgan Stanley need to hire in commodities to replace a team which left for UBS recently and that cash equities and equity derivatives will also be an area of focus.
Nomura is expected to hire in EMEA, but its big focus is likely to remain the US where it still plans to 'scale the franchise'.
Headhunters also say to expect some hiring into coverage groups in London, as well as equities and fixed income. Nomura are purportedly interested in building their prop trading business.
Expect some hiring in investment banking at RBS in 2011. The bank recently recruited John McIntyre to head its investment banking business and McIntyre is expected to seek to build out his team.
Recruiters say there will also be sporadic hiring in equities. And RBS will need to recruit a senior fixed income salesperson to replace Al Sinsheimer, who's left for BNP Paribas.
SocGen had ambitious aspirations of hiring 600-1,200 fixed income people in 2010, but this doesn't appear to have come to much.
Recruiters say they are still trying to hire in fixed income and that this will persist in 2011. SocGen are also said to be hiring in cash equities. The bank has been building in M&A too, where it's reportedly been offering very large packages to fairly mediocre performers.
Standard Chartered promises to be the enormous build out of 2011, but not in EMEA. Yesterday, the bank announced its intention to hire a huge 1,800 people for its global trading and underwriting operations over the next three years as it seeks to double its revenues from those businesses.
EMEA is unlikely to be the focus, however: the bank wants to build out in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
As we have noted, UBS has run out of money after doing some excitable hiring in 2010. However, headhunters say it will need to hire in 2011, mostly to lose people who leave after expected poor bonus payments.