Wall Street might suffer the most layoffs in years amid the mortgage crisis, but asset managers need not worry — the trend is not spilling into their sector, according to experts at executive search firms.
“I would say these (subprime turmoil) problems have impacted the investment banking side considerably more than the investment management side,” said Peter Kindler, co-founder of Boardroom Consultants Inc., a New York recruitment and consultancy firm.
“The layoffs on Wall Street really did not have a negative effect (on the asset management side). In terms of chief investment officers, there may be a bit of an issue because when there are market disruptions, there tends to be movement at the top, a matter of needing to bring in a new perspective. But there are even newly created positions,” added Mr. Kindler whose his firm is now “quite active in the insurance industry and working on a number of top-level projects.”
According to data from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based outplacement consultant, layoffs in the financial sector stood at 153,105 in 2007 or about 31% higher than in the prior market downturn in 2001 — and the trend is not abating. In the first four months of 2008, announced layoffs totaled nearly 50,000, mostly related to the mortgage sector, the data show.
For P. Andrew McLane, senior managing director at private equity firm TA Associates Inc. in Boston, it's business as usual.
“Mortgage trading areas inside the bigger investment banks probably have lost jobs. There has not been any layoff in my firm, and I'm not aware of any layoffs at any private equity firm,” he said.