• Big banks have hired more than 100 people in total this year
  • Australia’s investment banking fees hit 3-year high at $1.2 billion
  • Expect a strong deal pipeline amid low rates and the COVID-19 recovery

HONG KONG, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Australia’s big investment banks have stepped up hiring to rebuild their depleted teams, after bold talent raids by rival boutiques over the past year amid bustling record in the country, bankers and headhunters told Reuters. .

Most of Australia’s big banks, including Wall Street firms, have scrambled to add bankers since the start of the year as part of a campaign to defend their market share against aggressive new Barrenjoey shops. Capital and Garden.

Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), Morgan Stanley (MS.N), UBS (UBSG.S) and Australia’s Macquarie Group (MQG.AX) have already hired more than 100 bankers in total this year, their representatives said, in hope that ultra-low interest rates and a recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will ensure a strong deal pipeline.

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“There’s been a flurry of hiring in investment banking and the last year or 18 months has been about as good as it was five or seven years ago,” said Graeme Bricknell, head of executive search at Korn Ferry in Australia and New Zealand.

“That’s a significant increase (from two years ago). Some of these places were only hiring one or two people.”

Australia’s deal boom and soaring investment banking fees — to hit a three-year high of $1.2 billion in 2021, according to Refinitiv data — are fueling the hiring rush among banks and start-ups aiming for a juicier share of lucrative mandates.

The country saw $108.7 billion in M&A deals this year, a record and more than quadrupling from the previous year, making it the region’s second-largest market after China.

NEW EMPLOYEES

Credit Suisse hired 52 people in the first half of 2021, a bank spokesperson said. The recruitment took place in each of its businesses in Australia, which includes equity and debt underwriting and mergers and acquisitions advisory, it added.

UBS (UBSG.S), which was the main target of Barrenjoey’s talent raid, has hired 30 people in investment banking, equity sales and trading and research over the past six months. months, according to a spokesperson.

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has hired 20 bankers over the past year in a bid to capitalize on increased competition for staff in the industry, its Australian CEO Richard Wagner said.

“We have gradually increased our Australian workforce every year for the past 20 years. However, this year we have increased it by a notch given the disruptions at a number of competitors,” Wagner told Reuters.

Macquarie has hired 14 investment bankers since January, it said in a statement to Reuters, adding it has the largest investment banking team in Australia with more than 200 bankers.

JPMorgan (JPM.N) added 10 this year, mostly in investment banking, equities and research.

Citigroup (CN) has added four to the banking and capital markets business and four more to its markets and securities division since June, their representatives said.

Barrenjoey and Jarden, after their fierce talent war against their global peers, have 275 and 115 employees in Australia respectively, the banks’ spokespersons said.

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Reporting by Scott Murdoch and Kane Wu in Hong Kong; Paulina Duran in Sydney; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee and Himani Sarkar

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