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Strong hiring at small and mid-tier City firms counters slowdown at investment banks

According to Astbury Marsden, 2,000 jobs were created in the City in July, down from the 2,190 jobs created in June. The number of new City jobs in July was also down by 7% compared to July 2013, when 2,150 were created.

Astbury Marsden explains that while hiring at the large investment banks remains weak, small and mid-tier City firms are actively creating new positions and taking on new staff.

Adam Jackson, associate director at Astbury Marsden, commented, “It is smaller City firms rather than the big investment banks that are driving City hiring activity at the moment.

“While the cost of meeting regulatory capital requirements has cut sales and trading jobs at the investment banks, it is still the compliance and regulatory roles in which hiring has been most active.

“Other than compliance, risk and technology staff, hiring at the investment banks remains modest. For the time being, new front-office hiring is more often than not to replace departing staff, rather than supporting new growth.”

“High frequency and algorithmic trading firms are especially active, taking on technology and infrastructure staff from the investment banks as the banks wind down their proprietary trading activities.”

Astbury Marsden adds that new proposals from the Bank of England to extend the deferral period for the full payment of bonuses, as well as regulatory and public pressure to reduce the overall size of bonuses, is likely to make smaller and mid-tier firms more attractive to investment bankers.

Jackson commented, “Smaller City firms don’t have the same restrictions on remuneration that the large investment banks do. For the bigger firms there is intense scrutiny of the rewards for top staff.”


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