Is the grass greener on the client side?
Activity might be picking up in M&A departments but that hasn't stemmed the flow of experienced bankers willing to make the leap into corporate in-house teams. Partly it's a case of unemployed corporate financiers taking any job on offer. Recruiters say that the candidate pool in M&A is still much bigger than the number of jobs available, and there are now more positions going at corporates. "The money's nothing like what you get in the good times at a bank, but we have got corporate assignments on our books at the moment, but not banking ones, which speaks for itself," says David Timson, senior partner of recruitment firm The Curzon Partnership.
However, senior bankers are also willing to make the move. One of the most recent is Robert Hougie, who was appointed senior vice-president, mergers and acquisitions, for InterActiveCorp in August 2003 after being a managing director at Lazard for 16 years.
Acquirers staff up
He joins a stream of senior investment banking talent to defect to the client side. Robert Jeffe left investment banking after 25 years, most recently his job was co-chairman of the global energy group at CSFB, to become senior vice-president for corporate business development at GE in December 2001.