City's squeezed middle hoping to switch jobs within a year

Recruiter's hand plucking candidate

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Nearly two-thirds of directors in the City expect to change job in the next 12 months, but they may struggle

The firm, which surveyed 900 staff at City institutions and published its findings on October 31, found that 63% of directors were planning to move jobs within 12 months, while 25% felt that they didn’t get enough recognition for the work they do and more than one in five were dissatisfied with their pay.

Among more senior staff, just 4% of managing directors and partners said they felt unappreciated, Astbury Marsden said.

The firm’s chief operating officer Bardia Sohi said: “Whilst there is not much popular sympathy for senior investment bankers they have been through the wringer in the last five years. The rounds of restructuring and job cuts that have been implemented, the tightening regulatory regime and the squeeze on bonuses could – rightly or wrongly – have translated into negativity about their existing roles.”

The data comes months after recruiters told FN that directors at investment banks – who typically have 10 to 15 years’ experience – would struggle to find new roles as banks instead look to fill very junior or senior seats. Senior bankers said at the time that the financial crisis had created a logjam of staff at director level as those at the top stay in the industry for longer.

That trend doesn’t appeared to have shifted, with executives and headhunters saying in October that recruitment this year is coming to an early end..

Sohi added that directors looking to move will likely still struggle.

He said: “Directors who have helped steer their businesses through some quite difficult times may now be feeling that the grass must be greener somewhere else. However, the reality is that there may not be as many new opportunities to go to as they hope. Times are still tough across the investment banking sector, slowing hiring activity at top level, and recruitment amongst hedge funds and private equity houses is not booming either.”

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