What do you call an out-of-work banker? Someone who needs a new career. So quipped the Financial Times in an article in July.
The pessimism behind that joke is beginning to lift. After falling off a cliff a year ago, the financial services sector is picking itself back up, staffing experts say. “It started to explode for us around 60 days ago,” says Andrew Reina, who heads the New York operations for Ajilon Finance Solutions, a division of staffing giant Adecco that handles senior finance and accounting jobs.
The hiring areas that are hottest include risk management and mergers and acquisition-related audit and implementation, Reina says. Many of the jobs opening up in the U.S., roughly 10% of them, are in Washington, where theFederal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation have their headquarters. Those government-controlled giants are hiring people to work on all the bad loans they’ve absorbed since the financial crisis struck a year ago. Most of the positions are part-time consulting jobs, Reina says.
The private sector is hiring too, he adds, including JPMorgan Chase ,American International Group , Royal Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Scotland . The jobs they’re filling range from traditional finance and accounting positions to information technology posts for staffers who can help them retool their operations.
Daniel Cook, a senior market analyst in Chicago for London-based IG Markets, says his 18-month-old, 20-person office has just since the beginning of September added four staffers in the brokerage area and client services. He notes that smaller, boutique financial firms are also starting to hire.
Jason Kobrin, the managing director of Manpower Professional, the arm of the staffing company Manpower , which covers the fields of information technology, engineering and finance, also says he sees financial-sector hiring growing. He says banks are taking on financial analysts, accountants, mortgage underwriters and loan processors. Insurance companies are picking up appraisers.
However, the downturn is far from over, he cautions. While many employers are starting to hire, others are still contracting. The net hiring uptick comes to just 1%, according to a recent Manpower survey. It showed 10% of employers planning to increase their staffs, 9% planning to decrease, 78% expecting no change and 3% saying they didn’t know. Obviously that doesn’t add up to a hiring boom, Kobrin says, “but it’s a lot better than what we’ve been seeing.”
At Citigroup , the total head count has declined 30,000 from the first quarter of 2009, from 309,000 to 279,000, but the company has hired 1,400 people in its “loss mitigation” area in response to the financial crisis, says Danielle Romero-Apsilos, spokeswoman for the bank’s institutional clients group. That’s three times the 450 employees the division had in 2008.
EFinancialCareers.com, a specialized jobs Web site for the finance sector, has 1,186 U.S. jobs posted at the moment, down 43% from a year ago. Scot Melland, chief executive officer of Dice Holdings, eFinancialCareers.com’s parent, concedes that that number looks “terrible,” but he adds that it’s a vast improvement from the “almost panic situation” of last fall. “Clients are telling us they feel more comfortable about their businesses,” he says. “They’re just not pulling the trigger yet on hiring.”
John Benson, the CEO of eFinancialCareers.com, says that finance jobs in New York will come back, but growth will be more robust overseas–in Europe, and especially in Asia. One example: Barclays Capital, which purchased the remains of bankrupt Lehman Brothers last year, is now hiring 750 bankers, about 650 in Europe and the rest in Asia. Next year, the plan is to beef up the company’s equities area, mostly in Asia, says Daniel Hunter, a Barclays spokesman in London.
Though the job outlook is improving, things are hardly easy for the job-seeker, Jason Kobrin says: “With every job you see, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people applying for it.”
Article taken from: http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/24/future-finance-jobs-leadership-careers-employment.html