Trading Places: The new junior banker bidding war, all-change at Barclays’ investment bank

The race is well and truly on to stop junior bankers upping sticks after a tough pandemic.

Banking’s long-hours culture has been debated endlessly for years. But lockdown has thrown an added spanner in the works, as eager twenty-somethings find even more work crossing their desks and even less chance to switch off once they leave the ‘office’.

This week, a real trend started to emerge in terms of how banks would compensate analysts and associates for going through such ordeals.

READ These banks now pay 20-somethings starting salaries of $100,000 or more

UBS,Stifel and Deutsche Bank have now joined major banks including JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup in upping starting salaries to at least $100,000. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley look like the rare holdouts so far, but are eyeing other ways to alleviate the pressure like increased hiring.

Our investment banking editor Paul Clarke has a rundown on where the big players stand.

Pay rises are also on the cards for staff at Credit Suisse. This time, it’s not at the junior level; in the wake of a raft of senior departures from the Swiss lender, it is offering sweeteners to ensure more top bankers stay put as it rebuilds from the Archegos and Greensill affairs.

READ Goldman CEO Solomon hints that juniors may get pay bump

Meanwhile, hiring and promotions activity continued apace. Arguably the biggest change in the banking world this week came for Barclays, which promoted a raft of senior dealmakers and named new co-heads of investment banking to lead the unit during a boom time for fees.

Jean-Francois ‘JF’ Astier and John Miller were promoted to co-heads of investment banking and will lead a new management team within the division in a bid to “enhance growth”, while Kristin Roth DeClark and Taylor Wright, who previously led equity capital markets in the Americas, were promoted to global co-heads of capital markets.

The UK lender also shook things up in Germany, hiring KfW Bankengruppe’s Ingrid Hengster as chief executive for the country and global chair of investment banking.

Also on the continent, Goldman Sachs lost an executive director in its financial institutions group to a UK-headquartered boutique, Italian lender UniCredit made a flurry of changes to its corporate and investment bank, including stripping out some dual leadership roles as it looks to “simplify set-ups, increase transparency, and boost accountability” under new boss Andrea Orcel, and Louise Bennetts rejoined JPMorgan as head of directory services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As the City continues to adapt to changes to working conditions brought on by the pandemic, debate continues to swirl over what their offices will look like going forward.

In an interview this week, NatWest chair and financial services veteran Howard Davies suggested that footfall might never look the same again. One organisation we know has struggled to attract staff to its workplace is the Financial Conduct Authority; Financial News revealed that despite planning to double headcount in its Scottish base in 2019, headcount has only increased by some 18%.

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Justin Cash

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