Thursday, September 10, 2009

Update on the Job Market

(As I was in the middle of answering a question from someone during my hand-off, my Blackberry reset itself. When it came back on, I found my account terminated from the Citigroup Blackberry server. Oh well ... let them figure out the answers for themselves!)

Some people have asked me what I think of the job market right now in Capital Markets IT.

From my vantage point, the job market for good IT people is exploding right now. There are a few reasons for this:

1) Traders who were displaced from companies like Lehman, Bear, and Merrill are finding themselves in demand, and they are starting to land at various Investment Banks and Hedge Funds. As these people get settled in their new positions, they are asking for systems that are similar to what they had before and what they used to generate profits.

2) Good IT people are leaving the existing companies in droves and going to the non-TARP (ie: non-US) banks. For example, the entire CEP team from Merrill left to go to Deutsche Bank. In particular, Deutsche has been hiring like mad. Hedge Funds who had a bad year last year have recovered, and along with that recovery, they are starting to fill some of the positions that they had eliminated.

3) Upper-level IT management are changing firms, and bringing along their best people with them. This leaves a void at their old firms.

4) More demand for risk management, WPF-based GUIs, equity derivatives.

What is also interesting is that companies are starting to pay up. Even the companies who have been known as notoriously low payers realize that they need to compete, and they are paying above-market rates for new talent, much to the chagrin of the legacy people at the firms.

Is the market completely back to normal? I don't think so. But if you are a really good IT person with some Capital Markets experience, you should have problem landing a position right now.

©2009 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.

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