When it comes to hiring, asset management may be the hottest sector in all of financial services in 2014. The only problem is that firms aren’t necessarily looking to add headcount in revenue-generating areas. Like with banks, much of the hiring will occur in the middle and back office.
Nearly 60% of asset management firms plan to add headcount in 2014, according to a new report from PwC. Two years ago, just 25% of firms said they would look to add external staff.
The optimistic plans are born from an improved economy – CEO confidence numbers are way up – but also the need to prepare for and respond to all the regulations that are crashing down on money managers. Staffers with operational risk backgrounds will be highly sought-after, according to the report.
While the clear focus will be on middle-office roles, one would still have to assume that asset managers will need to add at least some revenue-generators. In a previous report, PwC speculates that, in 2020, asset managers will control over $100 trillion, up from the $64 trillion currently under management. That’s a 6% annual growth rate. Surely they’ll need more folks to recruit and manage all that money.
Meanwhile, you can expect plenty of movement between firms in the coming months, even if it doesn’t necessarily result in immediate headcount gains. With bonuses already delivered, headhunters and compensation experts expect some of the senior heavy-hitters to change addresses. Certain asset managers appear willing to buyout deferred bonuses for the right people.
“They want senior staff who can generate new business [but] have cut back on pay elsewhere in the organization in order to fund this,” one consultant told eFinancialCareers.
Every office job has them. Clichéd, often empty phrases that bosses and colleagues utter that make you want to pull your hair out. Financial services is no different. Here are the worst of the worst, as judged by those in the industry.
A 33-year-old J.P. Morgan on Tuesday employee leaped to his death from the roof of the bank’s Asian headquarters in Hong Kong. Sadly, there has been a rash of apparent banker suicides in recent months, including a similar incident that occurred at J.P. Morgan’s London headquarters.
The questions you ask in an interview are often just as important as those that you answer. If you want to impress rather than bore, ask these five questions.
The recent lull in fixed income trading and the ongoing probe into the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets has overshadowed a bigger problem facing FX traders. Machines are expected to handle 76% of all currency transactions within five years.
Here’s another interesting anecdote from Kevin Roose’s new book on junior bankers. He once tried to crash a black-tie Wall Street fraternity party and got busted. Things escalated quickly and almost got physical.
PNC Financial Services is set to make a bigger splash in Canada, and will likely need to hire staff as it grows. The second largest U.S. regional bank has been approved to offer lending, credit and trust management services to Canadian firms as well as U.S. companies operating up north.
With share prices climbing, bank executives are cashing out. Insiders at the top six U.S. banks last month sold shares that combined to double the value from stock sold a year ago January. It begs the question: are bank stocks now overvalued?
Buzz Around the Office
Buzzfeed wrote a rather negative article about Donald Trump and his propensity to half-heartedly join political races and then drop out. So the Donald fired his top political consultant who happens to be friends with the Buzzfeed writer.
Quote of the Day: “If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn’t have a job if he was any smarter.” – John Gotti
We didn’t get a chance to put a linkfest today but one post we did read really stood out. While the debate about crowdfunding continues Om Malik has a great up at GigaOM that puts the rise of new funding platforms like AngelList into perspective. Malik points out that AngelList is yet another financial innovation that will before seem decidedly mainstream. Malik talks about how day traders of the 1990s changed the way we trade. He writes:
Some innovation makes some financial product or technique less costly, and it, in turn, becomes more widely available. People race to try it, hoping to earn higher returns, and that works; for a while, anyway. Inevitably, however, the innovation attracts too many newcomers that those returns collapse, leaving huge losses, but also leaving the innovation behind for the future to benefit from.
Now it is angel investing that is getting the treatment. Malik writes:
Once again, financial innovation has cut costs and driven wider participation in a previously closed and clubby market. We have seen it over and over, from derivatives to mortgage-backed securities, and it is playing out again in angel investing.
That doesn’t mean there is easy money to be made in angel investing, Day trading wasn’t easy money eithers. However with the JOBS Act and changing technology we now have a whole new way in which investors can put money to work. Some, like Felix Salmon, argue that this will end badly for many, which may very well be true. But along the way how we invest will change forever.