Recent events suggest the heat may be going out of the market for equity derivatives professionals. Not so, say recruiters.
"The equity derivatives market hasn't turned at all," says Luke Williams, a consultant specialising in equity derivatives trading at search firm Kinsey Allen. "This has been a good year for banks and there's a budget for a good few hires next year."
Two recent events make this surprising. Credit Suisse attributed falling third quarter profits to losses in its equity derivatives business. And then Wachovia, which had been building the business, suddenly laid off at least 60 people across its equity derivatives team, according to Derivatives Week.
But recruiters say two incidents don't make a trend. "Trading losses are always reported, while the positives are overlooked," says Williams. "These desks make phenomenal profits a lot of the time."
"Equity derivatives is still pretty hot across sales and trading," agrees David Korn, European managing partner at Options Group. "Pay this year will be good across the whole spectrum."
Banks that have been building their European equity derivatives teams in the past 11 months include BNP Paribas, Soc Gen, Bank of America and Wachovia. Next year recruiters say hiring is likely to be across the board.