Where the Finance Jobs Are in 2012

by Beth Connolly on February 9, 2012

Despite all the bonus-capping, salary-cutting, hiring-freezing, layoffs, deferred stock, and clawbacks, there is some bright news on the Street this year. From Julie Steinberg at FINS:

Some sectors that hired last year will continue to do so into 2012. Financial institutions are looking for talent in accounting, wealth management, and in emerging markets. Although Asia cooled off slightly at the end of last year, many banks still plan increases in their corporate finance and fund-raising groups.

Then there are the firms that don’t hog the spotlight. Houlihan Lokey, the Los Angeles-based investment bank with just 850 people, will add to its teams in the U.S., Europe and Asia this year, while Marsh & McLennan, eager to expand its reach, will hire for its risk and insurance businesses across the globe.

Finally, don’t forget about jobs spawned by Dodd-Frank, the financial regulation reform bill passed in July 2010 that created new agencies to oversee financial institutions and levy new rules on them. Even though the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission don’t have budgets to bring on masses of people, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expects to hire almost 500 people by September 2012. In addition, all those new regulations are prompting compliance hiring at private-equity firms, hedge funds and banks.

It’s unclear whether the changes Wall Street is undergoing are permanent. Some analysts claim that a shrunken Street will eventually become the new normal. Others, like Goldman Sachs Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, say the industry is facing a cyclical downturn, not a secular decline, and that things will be back to business as usual. No one knows when either scenario will play out.

Even if the majority of jobs don’t return, there are still some out there if you know where to look. In the FINS 2012 Finance Jobs Outlook, we’ll give you advice on how to tailor your resume for every industry you might be interested in, from hedge funds to corporate banking. We’ll show you the trends in accounting hiring and wealth management and point you to the opportunities in Asia. We’ll also guide you toward smaller firms like Cantor Fitzgerald, which are gleefully scooping up Wall Street’s displaced talent.

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