Twelve months ago we wrote of a pick up; both M&A and ECM activity had gathered pace and the question was whether we were experiencing a 2010-esque blip or the start of a new trend. As I write, it feels like more of the latter although the crystal ball remains cloudy. Has the IPO market run out of steam? Can the volume of M&A activity continue? Will Scotland vote “Yes”?
We’ve enjoyed increased activity across all our business areas and whilst there is still prudence in decision-making, hiring managers are working harder to attract people and willing to take more risks. Offers, counter offers and buybacks have increased. Hiring at the Analyst and Associate level has rarely been tougher and it pays dividends for businesses to partner with recruitment firms, and to plan and invest in their attraction and retention strategy.
How has this all played out in Analyst bonus numbers? As expected they reflect increased revenue as well as a more confident mood and a desire to retain. Total compensation is up across the board on last year – depending on your year group you’re 10-25% better off than your peers last year. Certainly no wage deflation issues for junior bankers. Thankfully, it seems to have been well-received. The hours may be long, but people feel they’ve been paid well.
Unfortunately for staffers, this contentment with numbers doesn’t mean that they can sleep easy. Recruitment activity across all our business areas is robust. The desire to trade up in franchise, or to consider exit opportunities out of M&A remains. Private Equity and Hedge Funds have long been the go-to destination, but increasingly we’re being asked about roles within corporates both large and small, and whether the streets really are paved with gold around Silicon Roundabout.
So, positive momentum continues. The supply issue will remain a challenge and that means activity will remain. The War for Talent is on.
“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: “Why are you here?” The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.” – Steve Jobs
For a full copy of the survey and a bank by bank breakdown please contact us.