No hiring embargo on emerging markets

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Down and out in London? Try Dubai, or Moscow, or Istanbul...

London hiring may be running dry, but there are still plenty of opportunities overseas. Last week, for example, Financial News reported that Goldman had rebuilt its Moscow investment banking business, that Lehman Brothers had recruited two directors in Moscow, and that Citi had bought an equities business in Turkey.

Any current hires or business buys will have been in the pipeline for months, but emerging markets recruiters say they're still getting mandates for new jobs. "I'm closing mandates later in the cycle than I've ever done before," says Taru Oksman-Ison, partner and head of emerging markets at headhunter Principal Search. "People are willing to take the pain and buy out bonuses."

Rupert Fordham, chairman of search firm Morgan Hunt, confirms emerging markets are still hot: "The activity is in Russia, Turkey and the Middle East."

Who's being hired? Fordham says Russian demand is for "talented people with right connections - what everyone wants is a rain maker with links to the oligarch groups." The sector focus is reportedly private equity, real estate and - until now at least - structured products.

Oksman-Ison says demand is more at the junior to mid-level end: "There's a real lack of people at the associate strata."

Both agree, however, that junior bankers who are through with London will find it hard to move into emerging markets without local knowledge. "The ideal requirement is for locals - or at least for Westerners who know the language," says Oksman-Ison.

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