Supply/Demand for Talent in International Equity Sell Side


The International equity sell side has been in net job reduction mode for the last four years. This has occurred despite the generally rising markets and increasing trading volumes seen over that period.

Bulge bracket firms have reduced regional equity sales desks by an average of 15-20% over the period, albeit with some offset coming from growing Global/SPOC desks.

European equity sales desks were as large as 15 people a decade ago at bulge bracket firms, today they are as small as 6 people, of which only 3 in NYC, 2 in Boston and 1 in SF. The range for the bulge bracket firms is 6-9 salespeople.

There is more variation in Asia/Pac sales desk sizes, as some firms have one integrated Asia/Pac team while others have separate teams for Japan, NJA and Australia. The bulge bracket range for Asia/Pac is 7-12 salespeople.

The smaller regions - LatAm and CEEMEA - have been hardest hit due to severe underperformance of markets in these areas. In some cases these regional desks have been closed with coverage transferring to Global desk or larger region desks. Typical size for the desks that remain is 2-3 salespeople for each of LatAm and CEEMEA.

Second tier desks are often larger than those at bulge bracket firms - three European second tier firms have desks with over ten salespeople, the largest Asian second tier firm has 16 salespeople.

Supply/Demand by Region - There's Demand for Young Talented Salespeople

There are very few high quality unemployed European equity salespeople available in today's market. There is some demand from a number of firms, mostly at the third tier, given that bulge firms are not in expansion mode and second tier desks are already relatively heavy.

There are some unemployed quality Asian equity salespeople, particularly post the closure of a high quality NYC desk in January. There is not a lot of demand, but some Chinese firms have been building up their operations here.

There is minimal demand and minimal supply of quality candidates in LatAm. There is essentially no demand at all for CEEMEA salespeople, with the Russian business having shrunk sharply, there is some quality supply, much of which is being repurposed to other sales jobs.

There is demand for Global equity salespeople for the bulge bracket firms with very limited supply of experienced candidates. Most people moving into Global sales will have a background in a single region or in middle markets.

The most popular area of demand is for smart, talented, younger (3-9 years experience) salespeople. Most firms are at the very least open to meeting such candidates, even if they don't have an immediate hiring mandate.

FPIA Partners LLC

We are always keen to meet talented people in the International Equity industry, buy side and sell side. Do reach out to us at info@fpiapartners.com and we will be happy to meet or speak with you.

We are looking for talented and accomplished candidates for a number of high quality active searches for some of the top firms in the industry on both the buy side and the sell side.

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