The war for talent in 2022 started in 2021

Kevin Mahoney, partner and head of investment banking, private equity and private lending activities at Bay Street Advisors.

Courtesy of Kevin Mahoney


Recruiting in 2022 is expected to be busier than ever, but banks at the top of their game did not wait until the new year to start the hunt for talent.

“Normally investment banking slows down in the fourth quarter, but my clients expect a very busy first quarter and don’t want to be caught off guard,” Ken Mahoney, head of investment banking, private equity of Bay Street Advisors, and private credit practices, Insider said.

Banks were more active at the end of 2021 compared to previous years because they wanted to get ahead of the competition, Mahoney added.

“I work with a client in one of the hottest areas – health technology – who is anxious and wonders why they didn’t start the process six months ago,” he said. .

The Wall Street talent market has long been hot, thanks to record M&A fees and booming deal volume. This contributed to junior banker burnout – which in turn forced some rainmakers to do big jobs – and sparked a banker reshuffle at many large corporations.

Indeed, SVB Leerink, Evercore, Citigroup have already managed to poach talent, with other companies like Lazard and Moelis earlier this year promising to compete.

Banks that are not yet involved in the action risk being left behind, Mahoney said.

“You have to get people to sit down as early as possible,” he said.

The competition for junior talent will remain fierce

A photo of smiling robin judson wearing a black cardigan, pink shirt and pearl necklace

Robin Judson, Managing Partner and Founder of Robin Judson Partners.

Robin Judson Partners


A key theme in 2021 has been banks’ efforts to retain junior bankers, many of whom feel overworked and undervalued. This summer, most companies exceeded bonuses and offered young talent perks and bonuses, but a talent drain has again swept through Wall Street in recent months.

Staffing groups with junior bankers will continue to be a challenge in the New Year, said Robin Judson, Managing Partner and Founder of Robin Judson Partners.

“What we have found is that it is exceptionally difficult to find strong candidates, especially at the more junior levels,” she told Insider.

One of the problems is that so many juniors have already changed jobs over the summer after earning their bonuses, she said.

Therefore, it is difficult to find good candidates interested in a job change who have not already done so.

At the same time, clients haven’t given up on their requests for young talent – Judson said there were “a lot more” junior positions open than there were a year ago.

In a competitive market for juniors, the companies that win will not only be those that get on the ground, but also invest in the careers of young people, she added.

“People who haven’t moved yet are going to consider it unless they get an exceptionally strong package and feel that their priorities for their career are being considered and will be implemented by their employers,” Judson said.

Businesses will fight for tech and healthcare bankers

a photo of smiling kim freehill with blonde hair and black shirt

Kim Freehill, Managing Director and Senior Executive Partner at FSJ Recruiters.

Kim freehill


Two of the sectors that led to deals being struck in 2021 – healthcare and tech – will continue to be a priority for banks’ recruitment efforts in 2022.

“Everyone’s upped their game to get really good people,” Kim Freehill, Managing Director and Senior Executive Partner of FSJ Recruiters focused on the life science space, told Insider.

Companies that wish to invest in these industries offer significant compensation and commit to paying the bonuses applicants would earn if they stayed at their current business.

Health and tech bankers are a prized commodity on Wall Street thanks to multi-billion dollar deals in space. Thermo Fisher announced its $ 17.4 billion acquisition of PPD in April while Ginkgo Bioworks went public in September through a $ 15 billion investment


After-sales service

with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp.

The activity has already led to hires at large companies like Citi, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan. Some smaller investment banks, such as Raymond James, JonesTrading, SVB Leerink and Evercore, are also well positioned to join in the action by offering higher than average salaries, Freehill added.

The healthcare and tech sectors have also presented a surprising avenue for non-traditional candidates to shine in the world of investment banking.

“You really need a doctorate at the business table to explain science to bankers, so we’re seeing some doctors evolve into great bankers,” Freehill added.

Demand for mid-level talent is off the charts

A photo of Andrew Golden smiling with a black suit jacket and light blue tie

Andrew Golden, Partner at Atlantic Group.

Atlantic Group


Switching to a private equity firm or hedge fund has long been a viable career path for investment bankers completing their analyst programs.

But as banks become more aggressive in retaining employees, the buy side has had a harder time hiring associates and vice presidents who were generally keen to make the switch, company partner Andrew Golden told Insider. Atlantic Group executive search.

“Our largest volume is for applicants two to ten years after college, who make up the majority of our recruiting activity,” Golden, which primarily focuses on recruiting for private equity, told Insider. asset managers, credit loans and hedge funds.

Golden said he spent more time during the recruiting process advising candidates on whether to accept a counteroffer from their current company.

“The banks have turned around and are retaliating aggressively,” which is starting to create an “unfair” advantage for candidates, he said.

In some cases, the banks are starting to win.

“I have had many opportunities to try to recruit for a fund, and I thought I had it, but the banks are more and more aggressive in trying to try to retain talent through counter-offers,” he said. he declared.

The fight for talent drives up fixed rates

Headshot of smiling mark esposito with white shirt and blue suit jacket

Mark Esposito, Senior Partner and Global Head of Financial Services Practice at Kingsley Gate Partners.

Kingsley Gate Partners


It is a market of job seekers.

Mark Esposito, chief financial services practice at Kinglsey Gate Partners, said many applicants are evaluating multiple opportunities, which drives up the price of offers.

“We’ll continue to see this war for talent unfold next year, but the candidate is winning,” said Esposito, whose practice focuses primarily on asset management and fintech. “I have never seen a market where the candidates I recruit have multiple offers.”

As a result, Esposito said he advises his clients to take three to four candidates until the hiring process is complete, instead of one or two.

Companies that want to gain talent will also have to sweeten the deal by coming up with a roster, he added.

“Normally companies would wait until the bonus season is over, but we are now finding that people are not going to do the job while they wait and instead are buying stocks and unvested cash aggressively,” Esposito said.

Fintechs pose a new threat to banks’ talent hunt

photo of jeanne branthover smiling with her hand on her hip and wearing a blue suit

Jeanne Branthover, Managing Partner and Head of Global Financial Services Practice at DHR Global.

Global HRD


Banks have long faced stiff competition from private equity firms and hedge funds when it comes to retaining talent. But fintechs have become a new threat to their workforce.

“We have observed a trend in 2021 going towards


fintech startups

. It’s all about fairness, ”Jeanne Branthover, managing partner at DHR and head of the company’s global financial services, told Insider.

Applicants from companies of all sizes – including big banks – are drawn to fintechs and the opportunity to take on a more creative and entrepreneurial role, she said.

“FinTech is hot, and it’s going to stay that way,” added Branthover.

But that talent will flow back and forth in 2022, Branthover said, adding that she was seeing some banks succeed in poaching talent from young tech companies.

Companies like JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs both hired executives away from Lyft and Uber, respectively.

“It’s not just about going from big to small, you are also seeing people changing industries and moving from technology to financial services,” she said. “We’re seeing a lot more industry crossovers than in the past. “