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The chart explaining why 2023 is not going well for banking jobs

If you're looking for a traditional investment banking job (in M&A advisory or capital markets) this year and you can't find one, you probably already know that it's not personal. 

It's not you. It's the market. 

The chart below illustrates why. Figures for year to date investment banking revenues aren't just low compared to the 2021 peak or to the halcyon days of 2019. They're lower than 2018 too. They're lower than they've been for the previous five years and are running at nearly a third below the average. 

This explains why banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are jettisoning staff and why hiring is increasingly being done on a one in-one out basis. 

What will it take for dealmaking and hiring to pick up again? One London MD says it's all about the debt markets. "Once the debt markets re-open there will be a lot more M&A," he predicts. It's surely promising, then, that Tyler Dickson, co-head of Citigroup’s banking, capital markets and advisory unit, has already declared a pick-up in debt underwriting in the past week and "cautious optimism" that the second half of 2023 will be better than the first. 

Realistically, though, the London MD says most of the M&A fees flowing through from an improvement in dealflow are likely to be booked until 2024. "The irony of the recent cuts is that it's been quite busy recently and while most of the deals won't close this year they'll require staffing in 2023," he says. 

When deals do pick-up, he predicts banks will be understaffed again. If you can't find a new job now, therefore, you may be able to find one soon.

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Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • ph
    1 June 2023

    This gives FI's another excuse to discriminate.

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