Recruiters are trying to find career-switchers to staff up junior investment-banking roles as Wall Street’s talent pool gets stretched thin

200 West Street the Goldman Sachs building in New York

A robust market for initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions has stretched Wall Street banks to the brink.

Now, banks and industry headhunters are scouring professional networks like LinkedIn for available candidates to fill junior banker roles.

But, amid a shortage of available candidates, recruiters told Insider that investment banks are increasingly getting creative about whom they’re willing to pluck from other industries, like law or professional services.

Kevin Mahoney, a partner at the search firm Bay Street Advisors, told Insider that he recently helped three corporate finance attorneys transition from law firms into vice president roles at banks.

Meanwhile, Kim Freehill, managing director at FSJ Partners, told Insider that she helped an equity research associate covering the biotech space land a second-year IB associate role at boutique bank Stifel Financial.

Freehill described the situation as highly anomalous for a bank to hire a research analyst for an investment-banking job. A representative for Stifel declined to comment on the move.

Banks’ willingness to buck hiring trends underscores the challenges they face in finding people to place on their teams, Freehill said.

With deal volumes high, staffing in many groups has remained insufficient for months.

Many banking teams have shed juniors altogether due to burnout, or didn’t have enough talent to begin with when the deals market picked back up in late summer 2020, sources told Insider in June.

In April, JPMorgan Chase also signaled that it was pursuing lawyers or consulting firm veterans for junior banking jobs.

Jim Casey and Viswas Raghavan, co-heads of the firm’s investment-banking division, told the New York Times that their group was eyeing lawyers and accountants as possible career-switchers to fill some of the firm’s 100 open junior banking roles at the time.

Are you a young person working on Wall Street? Contact this reporter via email at, encrypted messaging app Signal (561-247-5758), or direct message on Twitter @reedalexander.

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Reed Alexander June 25, 2021 at 09:48PM

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