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Bank by bank, these are the hiring (and firing) plans this year

What are banks' plans for hiring this year? This is what we know so far. 🔭 

Bank of America: 

What they're saying: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says BofA "overachieved" in terms of hiring in 2022 and is therefore only making essential hires in 2023. Those essential hires are in areas like wealth management, trading and “technology jobs”. Sources at the bank say thousands of other open roles were pulled. Speaking last week, Moynihan said the focus is now on cutting expenses to historic norms and the hiring engine that was "cranking" last year is no longer doing so. However, at the time of BofA's Q4 results, Moynihan also said the bank would " invest $3.7 billion in technology development in '23 versus 3.4 in '22," and that it will "continue to add bankers."

What they're not saying: Bank of America is said to be thinking of cutting 200 bankers globally. 

Barclays: 

What they're saying: "Expect us to continue to invest, both in terms of markets and in terms of banking, selectively where we see the opportunity to attract talent in sectors that we think are appropriate for the future,” said CFO Anna Cross earlier this month.

Who they're hiring: Credit traders have been spied joining. In London, Barclays recently hired Richard Johnson from Natwest as head of compliance for the business bank. 

What they're not saying: Barclays has got new head of investment banking in the form of Taylor Wright and Cathal Deasy. Wright and Deasy may want to make some tweaks, particularly if revenues don't return. The bank is targeting a cost income ratio in the low 60%s, but in 2022 costs hit 67% of revenues.

BNP Paribas:

What they're saying: BNP says it's still pursuing its 'Growth, Technology & Sustainability 2025 strategic plan.' Visible here, this is all about achieving 3.5% a year compound annual revenue growth and being a leader in European capital markets and sustainable investments and driving efficiency through digitisation, AI, data and robotics and the cloud. BNP also wants to be the "European bank of reference for American and Asian clients." By 2025, BNP says it wants +25% increase (5000 employees) in its 'shared service centres' which deliver 'specialized IT Services across multiple areas.' The implication is that jobs might be shunted to India.

Who they're hiring: Last year was a reasonably big year for recruitment at BNP as it added, for example, nine volatility traders in Europe alone. This year, they've already hired Frank Kotsen (at BofA until 2020) as global head of distressed debt based out of New York City and Matt Clark (ex-Credit Suisse) in leveraged loan sales in London.

What they're not saying: Last year, Olivier Osty, BNP's head of global markets, told IFRE that the bank was hiring across the business, with a particular focus on credit and U.S. investment-grade, high-yield and securitized products. It's also planning a 'substantial rise in headcount in research, distribution and execution' in its U.S. cash equities business, is investing in high touch and electronic trading, and aspires to increase its U.S. investment banking activity in healthcare and technology. There's no mention of that yet this year.

Citi: 

What they're saying: Citi CFO Mark Mason has said the bank "continue to invest in front office talent, albeit at a more measured pace, given the environment." The bank is also continuing its "transformation" and plans to modernize its infrastructure. Technology spending was up 14% last year and Mason says it should be up 5% this year. Citi is moving away from "manually intensive processes."

Who they're hiring: We have spied ongoing big recruitment across risk, technology, data and controls. 

What they're not saying: Citi cut up to 50 bankers in EMEA before Christmas and "dozens" of people globally in November. The implication is that is dribbling out poor performers. 

Credit Suisse:

What they're saying: If you want to know what Credit Suisse is up to, you need simply to look at our summary of the Credit Suisse restructuring plan from October 2022. Suffice to say that the Swiss bank wants to cut 9,000 jobs by 2025 using the trusted techniques of "organizational simplification, workforce management and third-party cost management." 2,700 are supposed to have gone already. 

Who they're hiring: Not many people really, although the 'mega boutique' CS First Boston is hypothetically positioned to attract top talent from other banks for when it eventually spins out. We've also spied Credit Suisse adding Tom Nyiro, the former head of Deutsche Bank's capital release unit to run its own unit of the same description.

What they're not saying: Does Credit Suisse still want a credit trading business? Is it viable after numerous exits? Does it want people to quietly leave? What happens to all the investment bankers in Europe under the CS First Boston plan? Etc.

Deutsche Bank:

What they're saying: Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing says the bank is well-positioned after some aggressive cost-cutting since 2019. "If you take the three or four-year average, we have reduced headcount more than our competitors. Some of our competitors increased headcount considerably over the last one or two years and are now taking it back," he declared earlier this month. "There is no guarantee that we will not be reducing headcount in this or the other way, but we also want to grow. We want to invest, for example, in technology." 💪

More ominously, UK & Ireland Chief Executive Officer Tiina Lee, told Bloomberg the bank is looking to "strategically adjust headcount," while hiring “particularly where there are adjacencies to our existing businesses." The latter seemingly applies to Deutsche's consideration of a return to trading mortgage backed securities and its apparent renewed willingness to expose itself to commodities risk.

Deutsche Bank is still cutting costs. The bank wants to save more than €2bn cost between 2022-2025, with €600m coming from technology savings, €500m from workflow simplifications and €500m from infrastructure efficiencies. The latter includes "location management," which implies offshoring.

Who they're hiring: Deutsche Bank loves to hire credit salespeople and traders from Credit Suisse. It's also not averse to hiring macro traders from Morgan Stanley.

What they're not saying: Deutsche Bank's investment bankers aren't all that productive. Will the bank trim them if revenues don't return by Q2?

Goldman Sachs: 

What they're saying: Goldman won't be going all out to hire. David Solomon said last week: “We have a much tighter hiring plan in 2023. We’re very focused on expenses...” However, at the time of the bank's Q4 results call in January, Solomon also said that, "the market for talent remains really robust," and that "we operate in a talent-driven business and we must continue to invest in our people whose dedication is critical to our world-class franchise."

Who they're hiring: Senior engineers are still joining: Goldman recently recruited Albert Eskenazi from Meta for its fixed income strats team. 

What they're not saying: Solomon says Goldman was too slow to cut the 3,200 people it let go of at the start of this year. Does this mean they'll be quicker to let go of people if revenues don't come back? There's an investor day on February 28th, when more may become clear. 

HSBC: 

What they're saying: HSBC said in early February that it was hiring deal makers "as fast as it can" in Saudi Arabia. CEO Noel Quinn said yesterday that it's “developing more resources” in the Middle East. Quinn also declared last November that the bank has "every ambition to grow...substantially in Singapore." In yesterday's strategic report, HSBC said it's three year restructuring programme "has now concluded" but that its "focus on cost discipline remains resolute." Despite this, HSBC is spending more on technology and "scaling up" its "digital propositions" while moving to the cloud. It plans to cut operations jobs as automation increases.

Who they're hiring:  There seems to be a small push into digital assets In January, HSBC also hired Vivek Kumar from Standard Chartered for its FX platform in Singapore and Tim Lord, who previously worked for Tony Blair as head of climate change.

What they're not saying: HSBC was supposed to be cutting 35,000 jobs and even though it's only achieved around half that since 2020, it seems to be slackening off the RiFs and maybe stopping them altogether. Only 498 people were cut last year, although that may not include the 200 operations managers who were cut in December.  A handful of high yield people were cut in January. HSBC is obviously open to upgrading because it was spotted emailing rival bankers at risk of job cuts late last year.

Morgan Stanley:

What they're saying: Morgan Stanley said in December that it was making "modest" job cuts as it was “frankly a little overdue” for a trim. Speaking during the bank's fourth quarter call, CFO Sharon Yeshaya said those cuts have left Morgan Stanley "with a different level of comfort" but that the bank will "remain nimble and prudent, and look forward if and as the economic environment changes." CEO James Gorman added that the bank needs to "feed the beast" and "grow the firm" and that "we're not of the view that we're heading into a dark period, whatever negativity in the world is out there" and that he thinks M&A and underwriting revenues will come back. The implication is that Morgan Stanley won't be cutting and will be hiring where necessary.

Who they're hiring: We have spied Morgan Stanley hiring senior data and digital transformation people. We've also spied some macro trader recruitment, possible after Deutsche Bank poached from Morgan Stanley last year. 

What they're not saying: Sources say Morgan Stanley cut bonuses extremely aggressively for 2022 and that there was a lot of disappointment. There was no mention of the possible fall out from this. 

UBS:

What they're saying: UBS CEO Ralph Hamers is pretty upbeat. He says the bank isn't in retrenchment mode, that it won't be making widespread job cuts and that it will be hiring, both in asset and wealth management and in the investment bank, where it wants some new dealmakers, preferably from elite boutiques. It's also adding wealth managers. 

Who they're hiring: This week, UBS added Jonas Klink, as its new head of European government bond, sovereigns, supranationals and agencies (SSA) trading from Citi. He was hired last year after an alleged bidding war. Earlier this month, UBS poached one of Goldman's most senior (female) technologists. 

What they're not saying: Tricumen says UBS's investment bankers are pretty inefficient. If new people are hired, what does this mean for existing staff?

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Photo by Amy-Leigh Barnard on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ph
    photobug56
    23 February 2023

    At some banks and investment firms, some areas have some pretty awful management. Are any of them planning to clean out any of the high level rot?

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