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New City jobs growth remains flat despite upturn

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Recruitment activity in the City remained flat in April with the number of new jobs created up by just four percent, according to Astbury Marsden, the leading recruitment firm.

According to Astbury Marsden, 2,740 new City jobs were created in April, compared to 2,640 in March. The number of new City jobs in April was up by 5% compared to the 2,610 created in April 2013. Jonathan Nicholson, Managing Director at Astbury Marsden, says “Hiring activity in investment banks continues to be dragged down by weakness in the key Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities operations. Even a buoyant IPO and M&A market is not enough to outweigh the effect of underperformance of what had been huge growth areas of investment banking.”

The latest financial results from investment banks shows that the drop off in revenue from their Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC) operations continues. It is estimated that during 2013, revenues from FICC trading at the world’s big investment banks fell by almost 20%.* Astbury Marsden explains that tighter regulatory capital requirements for the banks have stifled investment banks’ ability to make an acceptable return on capital on their FICC operations.However, strong hiring activity at the challenger banks, brokerage houses and fund managers is bucking the weaker recruitment trend amongst “bulge bracket” investment banks.

Jonathan Nicholson adds: “Hiring outside of the large investment banks is still relatively active. There is a huge amount of work going on to get this new crop of M&A deals across the line, while the recent surge in IPO activity has continued to create a flurry of new hiring at brokerage houses and NOMADs.”Astbury Marsden adds that almost all banks are also continuing to invest heavily in technology as they respond to regulatory demands for stronger risk systems.Says Jonathan Nicholson: “City firms are still doing a huge amount of work to ensure that their internal controls and risk management processes are up to scratch.  That means strong hiring for compliance and regulatory specialists, and also for skilled technology staff that can design and build the automated checks and tough data security systems that regulators now expect to see.”
*Research from data firm, Coalition

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