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Europe: The State of Investment Banking 2024

Posted on June 2024

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Throughout 2023, M&A activity had been slower than expected within investment banking in Europe, with the telecoms, media, and technology M&A sector seeing the most deal activities, while energy, utilities, and resources had the highest deal values. Restructuring had a much better year across Europe compared to the previous one, with rising interest rates causing an increase in insolvency filings.

Opportunities for Investment Banking Companies

The market has recently been flooded with top tier talent from the cuts at Tier 1/bulge bracket banks, giving mid-market boutiques and banks the opportunities to bolster their teams with highly skilled professionals.

The client-led market, with more candidates than roles available, also means that companies are hiring with less urgency and recruitment processes are becoming lengthier. Candidates however, are often engaged in several recruitment processes. To avoid losing out to competitors, quick and concise hiring processes are as important as they have ever been.

Implications for Investment Banking Professionals

The demand for M&A talent varied across regions, clients, and industries in 2023. Middle-market banks were actively seeking talent, capitalizing on the economic downturn to attract top professionals. Bulge-bracket firms on the other hand implemented hiring freezes, with the broader banking sector making more cuts to their teams than engaging in hiring activities.

Bulge bracket banks are expected to resume hiring again as market dynamics evolve. The cyclical nature of the industry suggests that with the shifting landscape, opportunities for career advancement may arise, especially for professionals exploring new roles with their earned bonuses.

Slower deal activity also meant that bonuses were low across the sector. To protect junior professionals, bonuses for junior talent often exceeded senior positions for many banks. Firms are less likely to negotiate compensation for new talent, due to the current economic climate and the number of professionals seeking work. Bonus payouts have been polarising, with massive differences between outperformers and average performers, as businesses make an effort to retain their top performers.

Keen to learn more about salaries within investment banking? Explore our Global Investment Banking Salary Guide.

The Future of Financial Services in Europe 2024

Learn more about investment banking developments in Europe this year and their impact on the demand for talent in our recent report, 'The Future of Financial Services in Europe - 2024'.

In this report, experts from Selby Jennings in Europe assess the hiring landscape across key financial services sectors, offering guidance to help organisations address the most critical challenge facing business leaders today: finding and securing the right talent.

Download the Future of Financial Services Europe report now:

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