Fixed income salespeople and traders aren't doing well. Equities traders are losing their jobs irrespective of recent strong equities revenues. Banking infrastructure professionals are being quietly trimmed in the name of cost-cutting. Where can you work in finance if you want immunity to secular trends and to the terrible vagaries of the cycle? Try consulting.
The Economist points out that financial services consulting has been a big growth industry of late. In 2012, the global financial services consulting business earned $49bn in revenues, a fifth of the consulting industry's total. Financial services consultants are all over the industry like a virulent mutation. Consultants benefit from offering advice when the industry is shrinking and from offering more advice when the industry is growing, says the Economist. Consultants can help finance firms with 'big data' and with the improvement of technology. Consultants can help clients benchmark competitors. And consultants can assist with compliance and with risk consulting. There is little consultants can't do, and invulnerable consultancy jobs are growing as a result.
Ultimately, the Economist warns that consultants' great success may be their own downfall. Such is their importance, that consultants are now at risk of being swaddled in the blanket of regulation that has so constrained their banking clients. Deloitte in New York has already agreed to new rules on communication with the government. These will soon be mandatory for all firms. With luck, however, consultants will simply hire some new internal consultants to help deal with the changes.
Separately, Stephen Hester has left the RBS building to go and tend his garden. Still within is Ross McEwan, the ex-retail banking chief who will now be taking over from Hester and running the whole bank. Sounds scary? It probably should be if you're working in investment banking at RBS. Gary Greenwood, an analyst at Shore Capital, has released a note saying that the restructuring of RBS's markets division should be top of McEwan's to-do list. McEwan reportedly might fold the markets business in with the corporate lending business. RBS's traders may not be too keen on that.
‘Historically, Wall Street has been a haven for young people who are passionate about changing the world with a powerful idea.’ (Wall Street Journal)
Hedge fund trader leaves to do good after 12 years trading energy and foods. (Bloomberg)
Fiona Woolf (a woman) has been elected Lord Mayor of London. She's only the second female Lord Mayor in the institution’s 800-year history. (Financial Times)
Goldman Sachs wishes well to its latest employee who's left and written a book on the dissolution of the firm’s culture. (Dealbook)
BNP Paribas has hired six equity coverage professionals in Japan since July.(Bloomberg)
The risks of pulling an all-nighter. (Huffington Post)
These are the existential crises you will have during each decade of your life. (New Scientist)