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Finance Career News and Advice by FINS.com

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    Last August, banking analyst Meredith Whitney said securities firms would lose as many as 80,000 jobs by early 2012.

    Her prediction has come true – and then some. According to data from Bloomberg, banks, insurers and asset managers have laid off 195,000 people so far this year, up from the 174,000 who were eliminated in 2009, during the height and aftermath of the financial crisis.

    Multiple firms have announced plans to shed staff just in the last week, and we can't solely blame the French, or the Greeks, for that matter. BNP Paribas said it will cut 1,400 jobs in the investment bank and Societe Generale said it would eliminate "several hundred" jobs in the French corporate and investment bank.

    Citigroup may ax as many as 3,000 jobs, 1% of its workforce, with 900 of the cuts coming from the securities and banking division. Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said last month the bank may have to resize due to market conditions.

    Neither side of the Atlantic appears to be safe right now.

    Moving On (FINS)

    It's been real, Midtown. MF Global Inc., the broker-dealer unit of MF Global, is taking its 100 newly rehired employees to a cheaper space downtown after Thanksgiving.

    Expanding Operations (Cleveland.com)

    JPMorgan Chase wants to hire 120 mortgage professionals in the greater Cleveland area before the end of the year. The bank has hired 100 people for the Cleveland unit since July.

    Where the Money Is (Financial News)

    U.K.-based private bank RBS Coutts has been filling positions in London and Dubai. As the number of millionaires grows across the world, private banks are bringing on staff to help advise them on their wealth, a trend set to continue into 2012.

    Give Them a Break (FINS)

    Stay home if you've got a cold. It won't help your colleagues or clients if you get them sick, and it's cheaper for the firm to provide paid sick days than it is for you to come in with a fever and halt productivity.

    A New Concept (Bloomberg)

    Now that a former UBS chairman is behind it, breaking up Credit Suisse and UBS into their separate investment banking and consumer banking components may gain more traction.

    Using Technology (Yahoo! Finance via Marketwire)

    A new survey finds that 1 in 6 Americans used social networks to snatch up their most recent jobs, more than 22 million people in total. That's up nearly 8% from last year.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Going Up! (YouTube)

    Doesn't everyone need a good workout at the mall?

    List of the Day: Managing Upward

    Chances are you're going to have an unpredictable boss sooner or later. Instead of flaring up when they do, follow the steps below to ensure your relationship stays intact.

    1. Explain the reasoning behind your behavior. Do not leave your boss in the dark.

    2. Figure out how they like to be disagreed with, whether it's in public or behind closed doors.

    3. Tailor your attitude, office and even dress code to show you're not above them.

    (Source: Forbes)



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    Companies are spending more this year on recruiting but are focusing their dollars on more high-tech methods than in the past, a new report suggests. Additionally, more companies are hiring their own full-time recruiters or temporary contract recruiters to cut down on the costs of outside recruiting agencies, the report from Bersin & Associates, a human resources consulting firm, found.

    "There are shifts in how companies are allocating their money," said Karen O'Leonard, an analyst and author of the Bersin study. "In the long-term, the shifts will save companies money."

    The report, The Talent Acquisition Factbook 2011, is based on surveys of 414 companies ranging from small to large businesses, conducted in June and July of 2011. Respondents were chosen from Bersin's and LinkedIn's databases.

    Job boards and internal candidates were the biggest sources of filled open positions, accounting for about 38% of all hires. Third party recruiting agencies accounted for just 9% of filled positions, but consumed about one-third of recruiting budgets, the reports said. The cost of using an agency averaged about 21% of a new hire's first-year salary, the report said.

    While job boards and outside recruiting agencies were still among the most popular methods of recruiting, some companies are shifting their spending into more high-tech strategies. One company cited in the report, Colorado-based engineering and construction firm CH2M HILL, shifted half of its recruiting budget away from job boards to professional networking sites like LinkedIn and Viadeo, and social media tools like Facebook, a company spokesperson said.

    Some companies are also exploring newer software-based approaches to recruiting. Many companies use what are known as Applicant Tracking Systems. These software programs collect and collate all of the personal and professional information a job candidate submits online, and then ranks each candidate according to how well they match up to a given job description.

    But candidates who are passed over for a given job essentially disappear from the system, even if they might be a good candidate for a future job opening, said Katherine Jones, director of research and human capital management at Bersin. "It's an Industrial Revolution-age concept," she said.

    As an alternative, more companies are using Candidate Relationship Management software like LinkedIn's Recruiter tool or Avature's CRM Web 2.0, which allows companies to track and communicate with candidates who may or may not have applied for a job with the company. In this way, companies can develop a talent pipeline for a position before it even opens. This kind of software allows companies to keep candidates on the "backburner until something comes up and then they can start pursuing them aggressively," Jones said.

    Write to Joseph Walker at Joseph.Walker@dowjones.com



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    UBS AG on Thursday provided long-awaited details on its plan to shrink its investment bank by unwinding risky assets and to put more focus on its profitable business of managing the wealth of rich clients.

    "We have chosen to substantially reduce the risk profile of the bank by exiting and downsizing businesses which aren't value added to our client franchise or deliver unattractive risk-adjusted returns," the bank's new chief executive, Sergio Ermotti, told investors at a presentation in New York.

    The Zurich-based bank's strategy will center on its wealth-management businesses and its position as the strongest universal bank in the Swiss market. To serve wealthy clients, some investment-banking activities are also essential, but they need to be less complex, absorb less capital and be profitable, UBS said.

    Detailing its strategy to investors in New York, the Swiss bank also lowered its profit targets, saying it now aims at a return on equity of 12%-17%, compared with 15%-20% previously. UBS also said it plans to pay out a cash dividend of 0.10 Swiss franc for 2011, its first since the onset of the financial crisis.

    Shrinking the investment bank involves the elimination of around 2,000 jobs by the end of 2016. This is between 400 and 500 more than previously announced, albeit over a longer period of time and of a size that can be achieved through natural attrition.

    UBS plans to rid its balance sheet of 145 billion Swiss francs ($161 billion) by selling or running off risky assets. The biggest cuts come at the investment bank's FICC unit—short for fixed-income, currencies and commodities—which absorbs a disproportionate amount of capital. Among other moves, UBS plans to exit its asset securitization business and will scale back its long-end rates businesses.

    These steps will reduce annual revenue by around 500 million Swiss franc, UBS said.

    "No personal interest or revenue is more important than the reputation of the bank," Ermotti said, referring to an embarrassing trading scandal that led to top management departures and calls for risk management changes earlier this fall.

    Former CEO Oswald Grübel stepped down in late September after the trading scandal. In September, UBS said a London-based trader at the firm's investment bank had lost $2.3 billion through alleged unauthorized trades.

    The shedding of risky assets comes ahead of tougher banking rules, known as Basel III. The world's biggest banks, UBS among them, need to hold top quality capital equal to 9.5% of their assets, adjusted for risk. UBS wants to set itself apart from peers by surpassing the regulator's requirement, aiming at 13%.

    UBS said it plans to issue non-dilutive, loss-absorbing debt that qualifies ascapital. That's because Swiss rules for the country's two largest banks demand an additional capital buffer, though part of that can come in the form of hybrid capital.

    The rules aim at making banks more resilient to financial market turbulence,

    forcing them to increase capital to absorb unexpected losses. One solution would be to issue new shares, but banks can also run down risky assets to reduce the amount of capital that is required.

    This story first appeared on WSJ.com.

    Brett Philbin contributed to this article.

    Write to Anita Greil at anita.greil@dowjones.com



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  • 11/18/11--04:30: UBS Revamps: Will it Work?
  • It's a brave new world for UBS. Or rather, a brave old world. The Swiss firm is going back to its roots, abandoning plans to become a major investment bank and focusing on wealth management.

    "Investment banking will go back to what we saw in the 1990s, with the last 10 to 12 years an anomaly," Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti said yesterday. The firm needs an investment bank that is "more focused, less complex, less capital intensive and consistently profitable," he said.

    What that means, of course, are job cuts. The bank will exit businesses such as asset securitization, complex fixed-income structured products and some equity trading. UBS will eliminate 2,000 jobs in the investment bank by 2013, leaving total headcount at 16,500.

    UBS will hone in on foreign exchange, commodities and mergers and acquisitions in the investment bank as supporting groups to its main focus on wealth management. For that division, the bank aims to have 4,700 client advisors by 2016, up from 2,252 now. Ermotti also said the U.S. wealth management unit is not for sale.

    The main takeaways? If you want to do investment banking, look elsewhere. If you're keen on wealth management, the gates are open.

    Get in the Know (FINS)

    Companies are utilizing more high-tech methods in their searches for top talent, a new study finds. Firms are shifting recruitment budgets away from job boards and toward social media.

    Canadian Bankin' (Bloomberg)

    The British Commonwealth is sticking together. Australian bank Macquarie is hiring between 30 and 60 advisors for its private wealth management operations in Canada over the next year.

    Northern Descent (Bloomberg Businessweek)

    While American banks reconsider their retail network strategy, Canadian TD Bank is on a expansion spree. It will create 1,600 jobs in South Carolina over the next five years.

    New Guy (Deal Journal)

    BofA's Brian Moynihan is still lining up his ducks. He recently appointed Thong Nguyen to be his strategy chief to replace Mike Lyons. Moynihan has swapped chief operating officers, chief financial officers, chief risk officers and a new legal chief just this year. When will his new army be complete?

    Starting from Scratch (Mergers & Inquisitions)

    Sick of answering to an MD who doesn't know what he's talking about? You may be tempted to jump ship and start your own hedge fund. Make sure you have plenty of capital. Oh, and a strategy.

    Teach, Don't Do (WSJ)

    Can't get a job in finance? If you've got a Ph.D., you may want to consider moonlighting as a professor for a few years. Business schools are desperately seeking qualified instructors.

    Domino Effects (NYT)

    More and more millenials are moving home after graduation. While it saves them money, it's also having an unforeseen effect: depressing an economy that would have benefited from their spending.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Super Chef! (YouTube)

    A sneak peek of Jason Schwartzman on Sesame Street.

    List of the Day: Public Speaking

    You could be the greatest writer since Shakespeare but if you can't speak in front of people, your client presentations will be a bust. Try these tricks.

    1. Plant friendly faces in the audience to give you courage.

    2. Practice, practice, practice beforehand.

    3. Pretend the speech is a conversation.

    (Source: MoneyWatch)



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  • 11/18/11--08:49: The Evolution at UBS
  • It was a case of evolution, rather than revolution, at the Swiss bank yesterday, as UBS set out a restructuring of its investment bank that many thought might go further.

    "It certainly does not feel like a year since our last investor day in London," UBS investment banking chief Carsten Kengeter said yesterday, opening his presentation at the bank's investor day. "The world today is a lot more uncertain; the challenges our industry faces are daunting."

    Amid an industry-wide decline in revenues and ongoing market volatility, UBS's new chief executive Sergio Ermotti and Kengeter set out the bank's investment bank strategy – with Kengeter describing the plan as "not the start of our journey but its continuation".

    Many had thought the bank might go further, however. But it still set out plans to halve risk-weighted assets in the investment bank and to exit certain businesses.

    Here we set out the 10 key takeaways from yesterday's event in New York.

    The investment bank will be less complex and less capital intensive in future

    Chief executive Sergio Ermotti used his opening remarks to focus on the investment bank. He said the investment bank was "a key element of our strategy", but going forward it "has to be more focused, less complex, less capital intensive, and last but not least, consistently profitable.

    ...and is there to service the wealth management arm first and foremost

    But while investment banking may be a "key element" for UBS, Ermotti said the Swiss bank's strategy was centred on its preeminent wealth management business – and the other divisions were there as support.

    He said: "In order to serve the needs of our core wealth management clients, our global asset management business and our investment bank must each be strong and successful in meeting the clients' needs of corporates, sovereign, institutional and financial sponsors."

    Risk weighted assets in the investment bank will halve by 2016

    The bank set out plans to cut Basel III risk weighted assets across at its investment bank, including legacy assets, from around Sfr300bn ($329.5bn) in the third quarter of this year to around Sfr180bn by 2013, and Sfr155bn by 2016, a fall of almost 50%. The majority of this decline will come in FICC.

    This will be achieved principally through a mix of "business realignment" and "CVA optimisation"

    Kengeter said that RWA reduction would come from from five areas, but the principle two are taking less risk, and minimising CVA charges. He said the reduction would come about by "reprioritising our FICC and equities business, so they take less risk and consumer fewer RWAs, and specific efforts to mitigate the new credit valuation adjustment charges under Basel III. These include investment in advanced risk models and targeted holding strategies built on structures we have already executed."

    The bank will exit businesses it considers to be no longer viable…

    The bank has pulled out of FICC macro directional trading already, according to Kengeter, and is currently reviewing options, both internally and externally, for its equity prop trading unit. The bank will also exit asset securitisation and complex structured products in FICC.

    …and will downsize those which are most capital intensive

    Long-end flow rates and global correlation will both see a large decrease in allocated resources, according to UBS, while credit flow in the US, synthetic equities, equity-linked and short-end flow rates will see a small to medium decrease.

    It isn't all bad though. Some units will see investment.

    Special situations in FICC and commodities will both see an increase in capital allocated, while the bank is look to build on its strength in equities, foreign exchange and advisory. Ermotti said: "Our strategy is not just about reducing and exiting business. We will also build on our strength in for example: advisory, corporate finance, equities, FX, leveraged finance and research. We will continue to invest in products and geographies where we see opportunities for growth. The decisions we are making put our clients' interests first."

    Equities and research, in particular, can take some encouragement

    Both Ermotti and Kengeter highlighted the bank's huge research platform, with Ermotti saying that "local market investment insight from leading macro-economic and equities research" would continue to be a critical factor in the success of wealth management.

    Advisory received praise

    Kengeter broke UBS's investment banking strategy into three pillars - flow, solutions, and advisory. He emphasised the latter, saying: "These are high cost, high value services. They underpin much of what we do elsewhere in the investment bank. Unique proprietary insight and analysis is of significant value to our clients. This pillar is a foundation for the other two, and must be monetised by client activity to be viable."

    The bank resisted calls to go further in cutting staff

    Ermotti said the investment bank will reduce headcount from 18,000 to approximately 16,000 by 2016, which amounts to an additional 400 job cuts on top of those already announced, though these will mostly be achieved through attrition. The target cost to revenue ratio is between 70% and 80%, similar to the 78% in 2010.

    No revolution here

    UBS may have done enough to appease investors, but this was not so a revolution of the investment bank. Of the 25 units set out in a slide in Kengeter's presentation, only four are being closed, with a further two will see large decreases in allocated resources. The majority - or 60% - will see the same level of resources or additional resources allocated.

    This story originally appeared on Financial News.

    -- Write to matthew.turner@dowjones.com



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    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. named 261 managing directors, 19% fewer than last year as the company fights sagging revenue and new regulations that threaten to clip its wings.

    Last year, Goldman named a record 321 managing directors. This year's class is the smallest since the financial crisis in 2008, when the company named 259 managing directors. Employees learned of the promotions Wednesday.

    Managing director is a coveted spot at Goldman and in the finance world, coming in right beneath partner level. The company names partners every two years, with 2012 slated as the next partnership-disclosure year.

    Goldman Sachs has been tightening its belt in the wake of declining revenue and a rocky business environment. It is targeting 1,000 job eliminations this year and more than $1 billion in cost cuts.

    This story originally appeared on Dow Jones Newswires

    Write to Liz Moyer at liz.moyer@dowjones.com



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    Not every aspiring private equity executive can be as lucky as the guy married to Estee Lauder's granddaughter and get to start their own firm, particularly in a tricky environment for raising capital.

    Thus private equity executives will probably stay with the firms they're with. While there's "always a degree of angst among senior professionals, at the end of the day, the job is very attractive and the golden handcuffs are significant," Eric Zinterhofer, the husband of Aerin Lauder and a former partner at Apollo Global Management, a New York-based PE firm, said at a conference last week.

    Zinterhofer himself co-founded Searchlight Capital Partners in 2010 with two others and now has offices in London, New York and Toronto. For those who intent on starting anew, it's imperative to have a differentiated strategy, Zinterhofer said, as well as actual office space and things you wouldn't necessarily think about, like a coffee maker.

    "Plan as much as you can beforehand," Zinterhofer advised.

    Getting Smaller (WSJ)

    MF Global will lay off 175 people among its human resources, communications, finance, IT and legal staff. The cuts will take place before the end of next week, leaving 25 remaining in the unit.

    Meet the Winners (Bloomberg)

    Goldman Sachs named 261 managing directors for its class of 2012. It's the smallest number of MDs since 2008, no surprise as the bank lays off staff and contends with a sluggish environment.

    The Beginning (TheStreet)

    Bank of America said it's been eliminating positions in technology and operations as part of its plan to streamline units and pare down costs.

    Real Numbers (Poets & Quants)

    For a top business degree, you may have thought you'd "only" have to fork over around $175,000 for tuition and room and board. But the total cost is closer to $300,000 when factoring in the salary you give up to get the degree.

    Cooperation Appreciated (Bloomberg)

    New life lesson: If during your time at UBS you helped Americans avoid paying taxes, you won't have to go to jail if you cough up information and names. Or you could just refrain from facilitating tax evasion, generally.

    Step It Up (Here is the City)

    Now is the time to bring your A-game and show up in nifty threads. Studies show you're perceived as more professional and trustworthy (and thus more likely to keep your job) if you look sharp.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Spacing Out (YouTube)

    Tim Burton at his finest.

    List of the Day: Knowing Your Elders

    Having a good relationship with your boss is crucial for career advancement, but it's also good to know their boss, too.

    1. Come up with ways to interact with them, like sending them notes from time to time.

    2. Gain visibility by volunteering for projects not specific to your team.

    3. Forward any compliments you get to your boss, who will send them up the chain.

    (Source: Forbes)



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  • 11/21/11--08:27: The Best Paying Sales Jobs
  • The mathematics of a job in sales is simple: Sell more to earn more.

    But knowing what kind of product or service to sell to earn a lucrative salary is difficult. Residential real estate isn't any longer the money-earner it used to be, nor are some areas of finance.

    If you don't want to relocate, Alice Heiman, a Reno, Nev.-based sales strategist suggests thinking about regional economic trends. "Look at the economy right in your neighborhood," she says. Whether it's business-to-business or consumer sales, there may be well-paying sales positions available. Fields like technology and health care are especially hot.

    We talked to recruiters and researched job ads to find seven of this year's most lucrative sales jobs:

    Contract Research Organizations (CRO) Sales

    Total compensation: $150,000 to $500,000

    When pharmaceutical companies develop new drugs or devices, they contract out clinical testing to CROs in order to send the drug or device through the FDA approval process. Sales reps often have science backgrounds, some with advanced degrees, and sell the CRO's services to the pharmaceutical or medical device companies.

    They are well-compensated because "this market is highly regulated, highly documented and highly competitive, and the sales reps who market the CRO services have to have a keen understanding of the industry," says Kandi Williams, founder of KL Williams & Associates, a biotech and marketing recruiting firm. Salespeople are also responsible for marketing and explaining the capabilities of the CRO.

    Bioinformatics Sales

    Total compensation: $100,000 to $400,000

    As the mass of data available at many life sciences firms increases, technology that creates long-lasting intelligence from the multitude of information is in high demand. Those involved in bioinformatics sales are essentially selling data solutions within the life sciences field and working at companies like Geneva Bioinformatics, Array Genetics and BioDiscovery Inc.

    Prior technical and lab experience is needed for bioinformatics sales and most people have a health care background, says Williams. To launch a career in health care sales, "start out selling the basic lab commodities and work hard," she says. "The consumables and lab distribution companies hire people into sales right out of the lab." As more technology companies customize these types of solutions to the medical world, the need for bioinformatics sales experts will continue to grow.

    Investment Banking Sales

    Total compensation: $100,000 and $2 million

    Not a sales job in the traditional sense, those who work on the sell-side of an investment bank are responsible for selling to institutional investors such as hedge funds. After the financial fallout, there's more regulation on pay, but total compensation is still substantially higher than most other areas of sales. New jobs are emerging in smaller cities, away from Wall Street. There's also a renewed focus on ethics, so good conduct can help you get ahead, says Ken Sundheim, chief executive of KAS Placement Recruitment and Staffing, a New York-based recruiting firm.

    IT Security Sales

    Total compensation: $150,000 to $500,000

    Big companies are increasingly concerned about cyber security breaches and selling them IT solutions can be very lucrative. Many salespeople work at start-ups, which help customize software for various industries. Sales workers for larger companies such as Symantec and McAfee have a steadier pay structure with great benefits. Those who have both implementation and sales skills can also work their way up to partner level in an IT consultancy. Other companies include: Kaspersky, Trend Micro and Check Point.

    Government Technology Sales

    Total compensation: $80,000 to $300,000

    Selling to the government is highly regulated and those who can get past the red tape of acquisition requirements such as lengthy procurement processes are nicely rewarded. Salespeople with a Rolodex of government contacts are especially in high demand, Sundheim says. "Once they have these contacts, they can charge not only a hefty fee for their sales skills, but their employers also pay an added bonus for the book of government prospects that, unlike the corporate world, may only change jobs once or twice in a career," he explains.

    Breaking into government sales requires persistence and understanding the lengthy RFP (request for proposal) process. Companies like Winvale and Consilium Technologies specialize in government technology sales.

    Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Systems Sales

    Total compensation: $200,000 to $500,000

    Selling IT systems to help medical facilities keep records is another growing area of health care these days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only 49% of medical facilities used medical record systems in 2009, so there's steady demand.

    Working for a smaller company can mean you'll get a higher title, like a regional vice president or regional sales director, says Tim Tolan, senior partner at Sanford Rose Associates, a health care services recruiting firm based in Charleston, S.C. "A lot of these companies are giving them titles that allow them to get [their products] directly into the c-suite," Tolan says and explains that a higher title can help sales people speak to decision-makers directly. Larger companies include Intivia, Varian Medical Systems and McKesson.

    Digital Media Advertising Sales

    Total compensation: $80,000 to $150,000

    As traditional media continues to go online and new sites develop ad-based revenue models, those working with online media to place advertising are seeing increased commissions at large media companies. Capable sales people at large media companies like A&E, Time Warner or Zynga can go far in the expanding field. Before you accept an offer, make sure the commission structure is not capped and consider your work-life balance, which can be hectic in an advertising sales role. "The definition of a lucrative job always includes life satisfaction," Heiman says.

    Write to Alina Dizik at alinadizik@gmail.com



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    Washington Research Group, a group of investment research analysts that provides research to institutional equity investors and was most recently owned by now-defunct MF Global, has been acquired by Guggenheim Partners, a Chicago and New York- based financial services firm with more than $125 billion in assets under management.

    Washington Research Group is composed of 14 research analysts and three support staff, all of whom have been hired by Guggenheim and will remain in Washington, D.C. They started their first day of work for the new firm today, a spokesperson for Guggenheim said. Guggenheim had no comment on to whom they will report.

    The hiring is part of Guggenheim's plan to expand its research team, the spokesperson said.

    "This is a transformative event for the equities business of Guggenheim Securities as we build out our research capabilities," Alan Schwartz, Executive Chairman of Guggenheim Partners, said in a statement.

    Guggenheim has been adding headcount in the past seven months; it announced in March it would hire up to 150 proprietary traders by March 2013.

    Guggenheim is the tenth owner in 37 years of Washington Research Group. Past owners include Drexel Burnham Lambert, which went bankrupt in 1990, and the Stanford Financial Group, which was run by R. Allen Stanford, who's been charged with running a Ponzi scheme.

    Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com



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    The more the venture capital industry changes, the more it stays the same. Or so it seems when examining the demographic composition of U.S. venture capitalists, specifically gender and race.

    A new survey of venture capitalists shows little has changed in the area of diversity since the first poll was conducted three years ago by the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource.

    Not surprisingly, the profession is dominated by males, specifically white men. Of the more than 460 respondents identifying themselves as investors, 89% were men, and 11% were women. The 2008 survey consisted of 86% men and 14% women.

    When looking at race, 86% of investors identify themselves as Caucasian, 10% as Asian and 1% as African American. In the 2008 study, 88% were white. Combining gender and race, 76% of participants were white males, compared with 77% three years ago.

    Read VentureWire's complete story on the survey, which includes some efforts to diversity the industry.



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    Tip: HSBC Holdings Hiring in China

    Even though HSBC is cutting 30,000 staff members around the globe, it's continuing to hire in China. The China unit hired 300 employees in the first half of the year and plans to add more to its 5,000-member team. China has driven much profit growth in the Asia-Pacific region and HSBC will open a few more outlets across the country after establishing three so far this year. HSBC said in May it would add 2,000 people in China and Singapore over the next five years.

    Tools to get the job:

    How to Apply for a Finance Job in Asia

    Secrets of Success for Women in Asia

    Jobless in America? Try Asia

    Tip: SocGen Hiring

    Last week, French bank Societe Generale said it would shed several hundred jobs in the corporate and investment bank in 2012. The job cuts are set to go down in France, but there's opportunity in the Asia-Pacific office. SocGen wants to grow in equity derivatives, commodities and other divisions in that region, and will hire for its Tokyo, Seoul and Malaysia offices. There are more than 1,800 employees across Asia in the corporate and investment bank.

    Tools to get the job:

    The Perfect Sales and Trading Resume

    Age-Proofing Your Job Application

    The Top Eight Rules of Networking

    Tip: Companies Using Social Media to Find Candidates

    Sending your resume into a black hole won't get you a job. Instead, start interacting with companies on Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites. Companies are spending more on high-tech recruiting this year than in the past, according to a new survey, and are hiring people to scout out your online profile. They're also relying on new software that compares your resume to given criteria to see how you stack up, so use key words to describe your accomplishments.

    Tools to get the job:

    Seven Ways to Keep Your Resume Out of the Trash

    Buzz Words to Avoid in Your Resume and LinkedIn Profile

    Less is More When It Comes to Resume Distribution



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    If you're a black man or a white or Asian woman trying to make it in venture capital, your point of view probably isn't being heard.

    A new survey from the National Venture Capital Association and Dow Jones VentureSource finds that VC is still run by white males, just like it was three years ago when the survey was last conducted. Of the more than 460 respondents who said they were investors, 89% were men and 11% were women. For race specifically, 86% said they were Caucasian, 10% were Asian and 1% African American. In the 2008 study, Caucasians composed 88% of respondents.

    So things haven't changed much. Myriad studies chronicle people's tendency to associate with people just like them, a practice that extends to investing and hiring and one that's been consistently condemned on Wall Street. Looks like Silicon Valley is no different when it comes to matters of inclusion.

    The survey also found that VC professionals don't hop from firm to firm like Wall Streeters do. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they've worked at one firm and 30% said they've worked at two. Almost half of respondents said that in five years, they expect to be at the same firm in the same role.

    All that stability is probably a welcome aspect for aspiring venture capitalists. Maintaining the status quo on gender and race, on the other hand, is just plain old stagnation.

    Finding a Home (FINS)

    Washington Research Group, a team of investment research analysts previously owned by MF Global, has found a new perch with Guggenheim Partners.

    Making Plans (DealBook)

    Lloyds Banking Group said David Roberts, a nonexecutive director, would become interim chief executive if the return of Antonio Horta-Osorio, who left more than three weeks ago due to stress and exhaustion, is delayed.

    Down to Business (Bloomberg)

    Credit Suisse cut around 85 jobs in its investment bank in London and elsewhere. People familiar with the matter said they're part of the 2,000 job cuts the Swiss bank announced in July.

    Almost at Capacity (Bank of America)

    Bank of America has fulfilled its goal of hiring more than 1,000 financial solutions advisors during 2011. Don't check the company off your list, though: Hiring will continue in selected areas into 2012, a spokesperson told FINS.

    Best Practices? (Euromoney)

    Now that Sergio Ermotti is in charge at UBS, the bonus pool could shrink as the bank reduces costs.

    Be Careful (Mergers & Inquisitions)

    If a headhunter contacts you about a possible job opportunity, follow these instructions to ensure you don't get taken advantage of or prodded into a position that's not a fit.

    Occupy This Octave (The Reformed Broker)

    It was only a matter of time before "Occupy Wall Street! The Musical" hit the scene. Maybe some private equity firms will bankroll it for the stage.

    Meeting the Future (Mashable)

    Arguably the best part of the movie "Minority Report" is when Tom Cruise frenetically moves around screens on his monitor. The future has arrived: A new proposed desktop will allow you to do exactly that.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Dog on a Bike (YouTube)

    Riding away.

    List of the Day: Support Others and Help Yourself

    What's better than doing good to others and getting a little love in return? Here are a few simple ways:

    1. Write a LinkedIn recommendation.

    2. Send a thank you note every week.

    3. Send a congratulations on your promotion note.

    (Source: Glassdoor.com)



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    Fewer women made the cut to managing director at Goldman Sachs this year, as 19% of the new group were female compared to 24% last year.

    Fifty of the 261 MDs named last week are women, a review of the list by FINS shows. Last year, 77 of the 321 new MDs were women. The firm declined to comment.

    The participation of women among the senior ranks at Goldman is about the same as the industry in general. Among Morgan Stanley's class of 232 managing directors last year, 38, or 16%, were women. In 2009, 13% of the 212 promoted were women.

    According to data provided by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that seeks to advance women in business, in 2008, women made up 18.8% of executive/senior-level officials and managers at companies classified under the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's category of "Securities, Commodity Contracts & Other Financial Investments." Women composed 16.4% of executive/senior-level officials and managers at companies that fell under "Investment Banking & Securities Dealing," a subcategory of the former.

    The managing director title is the firm's second-highest rank, second only to partner, a title that's bestowed every two years. The newly named MDs will take up their posts beginning January 1, 2012.

    Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com

    You can see the list here.



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    Deutsche Bank has placed its asset management arm under review and is considering all options including a sale of the unit, as the eurozone crisis and regulatory changes force European banks to change course.

    In a statement today, Kevin Parker, global head of asset management and a member of the Deutsche Bank Group Executive Committee, said: "Our aim is to find the best strategic option to maximize the performance and potential of the asset management division."

    European investment banks have come under increasing pressure from the eurozone crisis and regulators to shore up balance sheets and raise capital. According to research from Huw van Steenis, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, banks may have to decrease their balance sheets by between €1.5 trillion and €2.5 trillion over the next 18 months.

    A spokeswoman from Deutsche Bank said: "The review was triggered by changing conditions in the asset management industry, particularly the recent regulatory changes and associated cost, and the changes in the competitive landscape."

    The strategic review will examine all of Deutsche Bank's asset management industry globally, except the predominantly retail DWS franchise in Europe and Asia. Discounting the retail business, Deutsche Bank has €162bn in institutional funds under management, €46bn in alternatives and €150bn in insurance mandates.

    Net new money has been negative in Deutsche Bank's institutional business for the last two quarters, with outflows of €12bn over the third quarter. Revenues also fell 12% from €453m in the second quarter to €397m in the third quarter.

    One financials analyst, who declined to be named, said: "Historically they have struggled with their asset management business. None of the investment banks can really say they have successful asset management business. Now it is all about raising capital. Deutsche Bank is one of the biggest derivatives markets players, but they need to put more capital behind it."

    RBC Capital Markets asset management analyst Peter Lenardos said: "Deutsche Bank is not selling the crown jewels, but instead subpar assets with ongoing net outflows. Given current markets conditions, I cannot think of a buyer for such assets, and maybe that is why an announcement was made."

    In 2006, Deutsche Bank began turning Frankfurt back into its asset management operational hub, reversing a 20-year strategy of developing rival headquarters in London and New York.

    It would not be the first time Deutsche Bank sold off part of its asset management business. In 2005, the German bank sold the majority of the UK asset management business to Aberdeen Asset Management.

    Analysts remain uncertain who would be interested in Deutsche Bank's asset management business. Dexia Asset Management, part of the troubled Belgian bank Dexia, was put up for sale in October, and has yet to find a potential buyer.

    This story originally appeared here.



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    Wall Street traders who make bets with a firm's own money usually have at least several sets of bosses looking over their shoulder.

    At MF Global Holdings Ltd., where Jon S. Corzine made $6.3 billion in trades on European sovereign debt that sank the company last month, a different set of rules applied.

    Corzine, the 64-year-old former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chairman who took over as chairman and chief executive of MF Global in March 2010, reported only to the company's board of directors.

    That means when Corzine put on the European trade, he didn't rely heavily on the risk-management department at MF Global, a system of internal oversight and controls. The arrangement is in sharp contrast to the growing power of risk managers at many U.S. banks and securities firms since the financial crisis.

    In order to avoid potential blowups and satisfy nervous regulators, risk-management chiefs often report directly to the CEO or board, which are responsible for refereeing disputes between traders and risk officials.

    At Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., for example, top executives rarely, if ever, initiate a specific trading strategy, according to people familiar with the matter. Instead, those securities firms rely on traders who must seek approval from superiors for large bets, sometimes seven or eight layers of management that might even include the CEO's thoughts about the trade.

    At MF Global, Corzine and a seven-person board that included directors with several decades of combined experience in the financial industry had several "vigorous debates" about the European bets he began making in September 2010, according to a person briefed on the situation. Those discussions continued as the size of the trades swelled earlier this year.

    People familiar with the matter say the board set specific limits so that the overall bet on bonds of countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy wouldn't grow larger. Those restrictions suggest that MF Global directors may have viewed themselves as Corzine's risk-management department.

    Still, one former MF Global executive who owned shares in the New York company when it filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 31 says having one oversight procedure for the boss and another for the rest of the firm's traders was "a bad recipe."

    "I could kick myself for not recognizing it sooner," he adds.

    MF Global's operations chief, Bradley Abelow, also had concerns about the European trade, according to people familiar with the matter. While he didn't have much influence over trading, he preferred the firm take risks to help clients rather than make its own bets, one of the people said.

    Corzine made his name and fortune as a bond trader at Goldman, and his employment contract with MF Global noted he would "report exclusively to the board."

    Corzine often visited MF Global's trading desks. He said MF Global needed to take more risks, and he brought in more than 1,000 new employees, including new traders who had worked at large firms such as UBS AG and Citigroup Inc. The company also lost or let go nearly 1,400 workers.

    One of the highest-profile departures was MF Global's chief risk officer, Michael K. Roseman, who left the company early this year. Roseman couldn't be reached for comment.

    Some executives and regulators asked questions about the size of Corzine's bet on Europe. In one case, Corzine responded to suggestions from a trader that the bet was too big by saying he thought it was the best way for the firm to make money, according to a person familiar with the conversation.

    Roseman was succeeded as MF Global's top risk officer by Michael Stockman, a former risk official at UBS. After joining MF Global, Stockman often helped prepare presentations about Corzine's trading strategy to the board, a person familiar with the matter says.

    After conference calls about the trade, Stockman would help make sure the bets adhered to limits set by the board, this person says.

    Stockman couldn't be reached for comment, but a former MF Global official says he didn't openly support or resist Corzine's trading strategy.

    One reason Corzine stood by the European bet: Its structure allowed the firm to get favorable capital treatment from regulators and book all the potential yields on the bond purchases at the same time the trades were made. But in August, the firm's U.S. brokerage unit was required by regulators to set aside more capital in case the bets soured. The firm met the toughened requirements by shifting money to different units.

    On Tuesday, the trustee winding down MF Global's brokerage said $1.3 billion of "previously identified" segregated cash and securities at Harris Bank, which cleared some MF Global trades, had begun to be returned to the firm's estate. Those funds are separate from money missing from segregated customer accounts, which the trustee says could exceed $1.2 billion

    Write to Julie Steinberg at julies@fins.com, Aaron Lucchetti at aaron.lucchetti@wsj.com, Mike Spector at mike.spector@wsj.com.



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    Increased scrutiny into Jefferies' operations hasn't let up in the wake of MF Global's collapse, and now there's new focus on what might happen next for the mid-sized firm.

    Charlie Gasparino at Fox Business Network writes that it may be difficult for Jefferies to remain an independent firm because investors are newly wary of brokerage firms without sufficient capital to hedge against bad bets.

    Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove says Jefferies could be acquisition fodder for Royal Bank of Canada or TD Bank Group, two Canadian banks that have been expanding south of the border. Another source said Jefferies could merge with an asset management firm.

    Investment advisor Josh Brown at the Reformed Broker notes that the firm has become increasingly transparent about its European exposure over the past several days in a bid to appease the markets. Jefferies declined to comment.

    If Jefferies goes, will the markets immediately condemn the next mid-tiered firm, sparking an unstoppable game of dominoes? Jefferies, like MF Global, had been hiring in recent months to compete with top investment banks. Smaller firms used to have a place at the table, but MF Global's demise may have made that no longer possible.

    Glass Ceiling Intact (FINS)

    Women are still struggling to get ahead at Goldman Sachs, like at most financial firms. Of the 261 newly named managing directors, 50 are women, compared to 77 women of last year's 321-member MD class.

    Deep-Seated Change (Bloomberg)

    There's nothing cyclical about these job cuts. As the layoffs pile up, more and more people are convinced they're evidence of structural changes on the Street.

    Action, Reaction (DealBook)

    Now that MF Global has been occupying both headlines and calculators for the past three weeks, the government has decided it's time to expand its enforcement squads.

    Falling From Grace (Fortune)

    The moment you think you're immune to personnel changes is the moment you land yourself in danger. Just ask Robert Kelly, the former CEO of BNY Mellon who didn't think he had to listen to the board's wishes and ended up being ousted.

    New Approach (Reuters)

    If you're going to be late to work at BofA Merrill Lynch in Hong Kong, expect a personalized note saying "Good Afternoon" from Matthew Koder, the head of global corporate investment banking for Asia-Pacific who was poached from UBS.

    Defending to the Death (BBC)

    Banking can be an ethical career choice, one Oxford University professor argues, as long as bankers are inclined toward philanthropy and giving back. He says a banker can be 10 times more effective than an aid worker. Gauntlet thrown. Peace Corps, your move.

    Getting Higher (Here is the City)

    Executive pay at Barclays is now 75 times what the average U.K. employee makes. In 1979, it was only 14.5 times. A direct challenge to "the more things change, the more they stay the same" adage everyone loves to quote.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Cheerleading Moms (YouTube)

    Go sons!

    List of the Day: The Top States

    Sometimes you have to follow the money. And the jobs. These states have both and are considered the best for business based on employment growth and other factors.

    1. Utah

    2. Virginia

    3. North Carolina

    (Source: Forbes)



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    Other banks may have announced widespread layoffs, but not Standard Chartered.

    Following its long tradition of investing in emerging markets, the British bank will have added a net 1,000 employees this year, bringing the total to more than 85,000 in more than 70 countries. It doesn't plan to retrench any time soon.

    That's what you get from basing your businesses in China, Singapore and various countries in Africa and the Middle East. The bank plans to expand in 10 more places in China this year, bringing total number of offices to at least 81.

    That's a marked contrast to most other banks. HSBC, for instance, said in August it would shed 30,000 employees and scale back operations in certain European countries. Most other European banks are doing the same, as are some of the top U.S. banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

    To get insight into the anomaly of Standard Chartered, FINS caught up with Lee Slater, the Singapore-based group head of talent acquisition and international mobility.

    Julie Steinberg: Standard Chartered is hiring while other global banks, such as Bank of America and HSBC, are scaling back. How have you achieved that?

    Lee Slater: Our ability to sustain momentum during and following the financial crisis was not as a result of a change in direction; rather it's a result of a clear and consistent strategy to lead the way in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. They are markets where we have a long and rich history and we know them intimately.

    What you're seeing across Europe -- some of those areas are not ones we've been historically involved in. They're not our core markets.

    JS: Standard Chartered has traditionally been associated with many banking centers across Asia. What did you know about the region that others didn't?

    LS: It's not about what we know, it's about our origins. The bank was formed in 1969 through a merger of two banks – The Standard Bank of British South Africa, founded in 1863, and the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China, founded in 1853.

    We have a clear and consistent strategy with a long held focus on Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

    JS: What are your hiring plans for Asia?

    LS: The majority of markets across our footprint quickly returned to a strong trajectory of economic growth following the economic crisis and our resourcing plans reflect that.

    We are hiring right across Asia, particularly in markets such as China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan where our focus is on employing people with deep local knowledge.

    JS: Are there certain Asian countries where you're expanding more so than the others?

    LS: Markets such as China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan are a clear focus for the bank moving forward.

    Though China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are very different markets, the links between these economies are developing rapidly and we are well positioned to capitalize on the opportunities that this presents for the individual markets, as well as for the region as a whole.

    JS: Where else in emerging markets are you hiring? How many?

    LS: In 2011, the bank intends to increase its net headcount by approximately 1,000 people, in markets spanning Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

    Within Africa, we will hire in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana and Ghana. In the Middle East, Dubai and Qatar.

    Latin America is a small part of our business, employing fewer than 200 people.

    JS: In August, the bank reported a 20% rise in six-month profit. What are some ways the bank has kept costs down and what contributes to profit?

    LS: There is no one initiative that helped us to deliver a 20% rise in half-yearly profit. Instead we showed great cost discipline right across our business,. We will continue to exercise this discipline and ensure that costs are in line with income and profit growth.

    At the same time, we are also focusing on new ways to build our business. We were the first bank to facilitate a domestic renmimbi (RMB) trade settlement and the first to offer retail RMB structured products. Last year we launched the first ever Indian Depository Receipts (IDR) in Mumbai.

    JS: Staff costs have steadily increased. Do you expect that to continue or will the bank curb those expenses?

    LS: Our success in recent years is as a result of a clear strategy and tight cost discipline. We are committed to striking the right balance between making the most of the growth opportunities our markets present, at the same time managing our cost base closely, prioritizing investment and delivering continuous improvements in productivity.

    JS: Are you worried about increasing competition in Asia for the best talent?

    LS: One of the best sources of talent is our own backyard. We seek to develop people's unique strengths, provide the right technical and professional training combined with critical experiences to enable them to take up roles across our network that are not only in line with their career aspirations, but will also drive our growth.

    Where required we will also seek to employ outside talent to complement our growth plans.

    JS: What type of positions and across what industry areas are you looking to add? Is there one area in particular, such as consumer banking, that will do the bulk of the hiring or is it evenly spread across?

    LS: In our consumer bank we continue to hire relationship managers following double-digit growth in Asia, and right across the globe due to the rise of the emerging affluent in key markets.

    In wholesale banking our client-facing teams are expanding to meet the demands of a growing client base, including local and global corporations.

    JS: Do you recruit at both the undergraduate and graduate level?

    LS: Standard Chartered seeks people from all backgrounds, with different levels of skills and experience. In particular our graduate programs are a key source of future leadership talent for the organization.

    Our flagship graduate program, the International Graduate Programme, offers graduates the opportunity to fast track their career by providing the exposure and experience necessary to build a thriving career in banking.

    Our two-year Management Associate Programme is aimed at recent MBAs wishing to develop a true understanding of their chosen field.

    JS: What advice can you give Westerners who want to get a job with Standard Chartered in Asia?

    LS: The rebalancing of the global economy toward Asia means most Asian-based companies are seeing increased interest from Westerners. Given our clear focus on emerging markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, we seek people who share our passion for and commitment to these markets.

    We want candidates who have done their research on what we're doing and who want to sped some time with us across different markets. They need to understand the markets, the culture and have passion for emerging market banking. We look for people with local knowledge.

    JS: Is it easy to transfer between Standard Chartered locations and is it encouraged? Is language and cultural training provided?

    LS: We actively encourage people to pursue career opportunities across our network that are in line with their career aspirations, skills, experience and strengths. Opportunities range from short-term assignments aimed at offering critical experiences to permanent transfers.

    Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com



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    Forget those retirement plans or that big promotion. Just feel lucky you've got a job.

    According to a survey from LinkedIn, 63% of professionals worldwide are "happy" or "very happy" in their current jobs. In the U.S., 66% are happy. The professional networking site surveyed 12,000 LinkedIn members in 16 countries who have agreed to be contacted for research purposes.

    "We're seeing a trend toward people realizing they are just lucky to have a job," said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn's connection director. With unemployment hovering at 9%, Williams says that people are starting to feel appreciative for what they do have at work, rather than lamenting what they don't. "They might not have gotten the raise they wanted, but they remember that they have a great boss who gives them a lot of credit," she said.

    Worldwide, professionals in the Netherlands are happiest in their jobs, while Japanese are the most unhappy, LinkedIn's survey said. Brazilians are most optimistic about their prospects, perhaps not surprising given the fast growth rate of that economy. Spaniards are least optimistic while Americans came in seventh.

    Being blessed with a job, however, doesn't mean that the employed are willing to pass on seeing the fruits of their labor. Fifty-two percent of those surveyed in the U.S. believe that producing results will provide them with advancement opportunities. Among the top three career ambitions cited by LinkedIn respondents were dreams of being promoted and retiring early.

    Those expectations could be unrealistic. According to a late 2010 survey from WorldAtWork, an employment research organization based in Arizona, the percentage of employees who received promotions in 2009 fell to 7%, down from the 8.1% of employees who typically earn them. While dreams of retirement aren't impossible these days, an Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong.com survey released earlier this month found that 73% of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) believe they'll have to work into their retirement years, up from 67% earlier this year.

    Simply delivering isn't sufficient anymore, said Williams, as employers try to conserve every dollar they can. "Promotions don't just land in your lap," said Williams, "you have to ask for them." Another alternative is asking for benefits aside from increased pay and title. "Especially in this economy, you should try to attach the concept of 'promotion' to different perks, like working from home a couple of days a week, or getting an extra week of vacation," she said.

    The third of Americans who reported dissatisfaction at work might recall that attitude can affect tangible rewards. "There are always people who will think their jobs suck, their lives suck, and they want to just focus on that and not think of anything else," said Williams. "That's a choice. You can be pissed off, but it's not going to change your circumstances."

    Write to Kelly Eggers



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    MF Global Inc. has completed its lease negotiations and will move to its new offices downtown next week after employees get back from the Thanksgiving break.

    The broker-dealer operations of bankrupt MF Global will vacate its two offices in midtown Manhattan and move into "much less luxurious" offices in the Financial District on Dec. 1, according to Kent Jarrell, the spokesperson for the office of the trustee liquidating the unit.

    The lease will start on Dec. 1 and last for one year, with an option to extend another six months after it ends.

    Jarrell declined to specify exactly where the office is located and also declined to provide a reason for declining. He said the office is close to Hughes Hubbard & Reed, the New York law firm that employs the trustee, James W. Giddens, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

    Hughes Hubbard is located at 24 Whitehall Street and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court is located at 1 Bowling Green.

    The space has room for 300 estate employees, Jarrell said, which will include the 100 newly rehired employees of MF Global's broker-dealer, consultants for the claims process who have been brought on and members of the trustee's staff.

    The broker-dealer employees previously occupied three floors at 717 Fifth Avenue and two floors at 55 East 52nd St.

    Jarrell said the savings from the new space are "significant" and would save the company $375,000 a month compared to the old offices on 52nd street. MF Global had paid $80 a square foot for 62,000 square feet at that location and $118 a square foot for 65,000 square feet at the Fifth Avenue office.

    Employees are contracted to stay on until February 15, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, three months from when they were rehired to help wind down the unit. They will focus on addressing customers claims for property and assets from the broker-dealer unit.

    Customer and general creditor claims forms were posted on the trustee's website today. Former employees of MF Global can submit general creditor claims forms, Jarrell said.



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    It's nearing the end of the year and companies are calculating bonus pools and budgets for the next year. That means your boss could be discussing the fate of your job at this very moment. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but to fill your holiday season with joy, here are five ways to help ensure you won't get laid off.

    Increase Your Visibility

    If you toil away in your cubicle without anyone knowing you're there, you're setting yourself up for disaster. You need to promote your work not only to your own boss, but to your boss's boss. That means sending your boss regular updates on your numbers, forwarding along compliments from colleagues and clients and making sure you're the go-to person even for just one project. Be gracious and thank others for their help and your self-praise won't come off as self-aggrandizing.

    Become Your Boss's Favorite

    At the end of the day, it's not about numbers, it's about relationships. You need to have technical competence, but if your boss just doesn't like you, it doesn't matter how much quantum physics you know. A new survey shows that despite companies' efforts, favoritism still exists in the workplace. So apply yourself to building strong relationships with your superiors just as you would to working on a particularly rigorous balance sheet issue. Don't layer on the brown-nosing, but make a concerted effort to know their favorite topics, sports teams and other personality aspects that will help you to connect with them. Do that and you'll be sitting in the company box come Super Bowl.

    Time Your Vacation Well

    If you've only been with the company three or four months, taking a week-long vacation isn't likely to be received well by your superiors. If you've been there for some time, however, it won't be frowned upon if you go away at Christmas with the family. If your boss tends to "forget" the person when they leave the office, make sure to check in daily and also make clear you're accessible on e-mail. If your boss asks you to cancel your trip, however, it's a good idea to acquiesce.

    Don't Multitask

    This piece of advice seems counterintuitive in an age where we're expected to juggle multiple documents, news reports, sets of data and Gchat conversations with the click of a mouse. But don't be lulled into complacency: Research shows you're not working at your best when you switch rapidly from task to task. Taking the time to refocus even after a brief conversation with a friend can eat up valuable brain activity. So slow down, concentrate on the task at hand and really apply yourself. Anything less will demonstrate your work may not be good enough to justify keeping you in place.

    Still Ask for What You Deserve

    If you've been doing the work of several people, you should be compensated for your extra time. You don't need to walk on eggshells simply because it's a bad economy and many people at your firm have been laid off. Those who rise in their careers know their self-worth and know to ask for a bigger salary or bonus if they deserve it. Career experts say it's worth a shot, especially if you've got a strong justification for asking for more money.

    Write to Julie Steinberg at Julie.Steinberg@dowjones.com



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