London City Job Openings More Than Double, Recruiter Says

Job vacancies at London’s financial- services companies more than doubled last month as medium-sized banks and fund managers sought staff, recruitment firm Astbury Marsden said.

The number of new job vacancies in the capital’s City and Canary Wharf financial districts rose to 4,050 last month from 1,490 in December, the recruiter said in a statement today. That was still 25 percent lower than the 5,420 vacancies created in January 2011.

“With recent widespread redundancy programs and many of the biggest banks withdrawing their horns, many firms have realized that there is now a wide pool of talented bankers that they may not have been able to recruit a year ago,” Mark Cameron, chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said in the statement.

Jefferies Group Inc., which focuses on the mid-market, has been expanding its investment-banking unit, hiring bankers and traders. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Britain’s biggest state-owned lender, agreed to sell its Hoare Govett corporate- broking unit to Jefferies this month as the U.K. lender shrinks after getting a government bailout. About 50 employees will join Jefferies’s London office, including all of Hoare Govett’s corporate-broking team. The move is part of RBS’s plan to cut about 4,800 jobs, including 3,500 at the investment bank, as it jettisons unprofitable units.

“Smaller firms are now the ones creating the lion’s share of City vacancies,” Cameron said. “We saw a similar trend in 2008 when many of the smaller City firms saw the post-Lehman’s crisis as an opportunity to swoop and pick up some very talented senior bankers.”

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