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Finance Career News and Advice by
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    Connecticut hedge fund Bridgewater Associates announced plans to build its new corporate headquarters in Stamford, where it plans to add as many as 1,000 new jobs over the next decade.

    This news is more than welcome in a part of the country that's been hemorrhaging finance jobs for the last year.

    One of the world's largest hedge fund managers, Bridgewater is leveraging help from the state of Connecticut to build its new dream home. Governor Dannel Malloy has agreed to sign off on a $25 million "forgivable" 10-year loan, at just 1% interest, as well $10 million for job training and alternative energy systems. The hedge fund will also receive $80 million in state tax credits.

    Bridgewater founder Raymond Dalio has a lot of work to do over the next decade if he expects to hit the governor's goal of creating 1,000 jobs. Founded in 1975, Bridgewater currently employs roughly 1,200 people at its Westport facility.

    No word yet as to the type of positions that will be created, other than that they will be "high level" roles. Bridgewater currently manages about $130 billion in global investments.

    Costly Probe (Bloomberg)

    Standard Chartered may end up forking over north of $1 billion to settle accusations that it covered up transactions with the Iranians, say analysts. The U.K. bank agreed to pay New York regulators $340 million on Tuesday but has yet to settle with the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, the Justice Department and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

    Goldman Trims Staff (Bloomberg)

    Goldman Sachs cut as many as 30 U.S. salespeople and traders this week as part of its plan to pare down annual expenses. The bank recently reported its lowest first-half revenue in seven years.

    Carlyle Exec Walks (Financial News)

    Brett Wyard, a managing director at the Carlyle Group, is leaving the firm after seven years. Wyard helped lead a group focused on investments in distressed companies, a role that will be taken over by Michael Stewart, a veteran of Carlyle's distressed-debt team. The parting was said to be mutual.

    Naming Names (Reuters)

    Seeking to reach a settlement with U.S. regulators over a long-running tax evasion investigation, HSBC has voluntarily handed over additional documents detailing business travel reports, emails and other correspondence from current and former employees. All employees named in the documents have been alerted.

    Failing Grades (AOL Jobs)

    In a recent review of publicly traded companies by 24/7 Wall St., Bank of New York Mellon was found to be the 11th worst company to work for, at least according to reviews. The biggest complaints were low salaries and limited job advancement opportunities. Bank of New York Mellon was the only financial company named in the report.

    Goldman Gets Off (Reuters)

    A U.S. district judge has dismissed a shareholder lawsuit against a group of high-ranking Goldman Sachs execs, including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein, who were accused of allowing the bank's mortgage services business to run with "broken controls," among other allegations.

    Status Quo (SmartMoney)

    Didn't receive a promotion this year? Get in line. American wages didn't move an inch last month, and with inflation at a standstill, things may not change any time soon.

    Buzz Around the Office

    It Still Beats Cleveland (Scotsman)

    The list of the most unfortunate town names in the U.K. has been revealed, and it's equally childish and hilarious. The lovely town of Shitterton took first prize, with Scratchy Bottom and Brokenwind rounding out the top three.

    List of the Day: Resume Mistakes

    When updating your resume, keep these tips in mind

    1. Use keyword-heavy language from the job description.

    2. Demonstrate flexibility.

    3. Incorporates up-to-date language and modern skills.

    (Source: AOL Jobs)

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    Single men and women rejoice. If you're unemployed, the chances are decent that you'll find work soon – it just may not be the job of your dreams.

    Unmarried Americans have recovered roughly 90% of the 5 million jobs they lost following the 2009 financial crisis, according to a new CNNMoney report. Married Americans, meanwhile, have gained back just 22% of the 6 million jobs they once held.

    On the surface, the inequity seems to favor us single folk. But digging deeper, one truth becomes clear: Single Americans are working because there is no one else to support them, suggesting they're more likely to accept positions they don't want or feel are beneath them just to get by.

    "It may be that among many married couples, it's less crucial that both work," Bruce Meyer, an economist at the University of Chicago, told CNNMoney. "If one is laid off and the other is working, the unemployed spouse can afford to take a while to look for a job."

    The other, less cynical perspective is that single men and women tend to be younger and less expensive to employ. Companies hire more pencil pushers than directors. And, as CNNMoney points out, the single population just keeps growing, skewing the numbers a tad.

    Either way, the American sentiment for the job market and the overall economy has reached a recent low. In August, 45% of American households said they believe the economy is headed in the wrong direction, up from 36% in July, according to Bloomberg.

    Barclays Not Alone (CNBC)

    Seven banks, including J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Barclays and UBS, have reportedly been subpoenaed as part of an industrywide probe into the alleged manipulation of the London interbank offered rate.

    Banks Rolling Over (Bloomberg)

    At least four banks in addition to HSBC handed over emails and phone records of their employees to the U.S. Department of Justice as it continues its wide-ranging investigation into income tax evasion.

    Luck of the Irish (RTE News)

    Dublin, Ireland-based Certus, a debt management company, plans to hire 45 additional finance workers to help manage the Bank of Scotland's Irish loan book. The firm wants to hire 30 experienced collections and banking experts as well as 15 fresh graduates.

    Going Private (Reuters)

    Janice Fedarcyk, the top dog at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's New York field office, known for her tough stance on insider trading, is headed to the private sector after more than two decades of service. Fedarcyk plans to open up her own security consulting company.

    Jobless Claims on the Rise (WSJ)

    Jobless claims increased by roughly 2,000 last week to 366,000. The increase would have been bigger if it weren't for a revision to the previous week's totals, which were found to be 3,000 higher than had been previously reported.

    New Recruiter on the Block (Money Marketing)

    Financial adviser network Openwork has hired Billy Hewitt, former business development director at Honister Partners, as its new recruitment director for Scotland.

    Housing Team (Biz Journal)

    With the housing market showing signs of life, Wells Fargo is putting together a nationwide team of bankers solely responsible for granting loans and managing relationships with home builders.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Nor-way That Happened (BBC News)

    A Norwegian driver who swerved his car across the road to avoid a moose missed the antlered beast, only to drive directly into a brown bear.

    List of the Day: Recent Grads

    Getting started is tough, so keep these thoughts in mind.

    1. You'll hear "no" a lot. Don't get discouraged.

    2. Don't slack off as an intern. It's a job interview.

    3. Introduce yourself to everyone.

    (Source: AOL Jobs)

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    The big bank layoffs that began last summer with the euro zone crisis have not yet run their course.

    In July, for example, Credit Suisse said it would increase its cost-cutting plans by 50% to 3 billion Swiss francs and reduce expensesin its private banking and investment banking divisions. Citigroup said in January it would shed 5,000 jobs over a few quarters and has completed 2,000 of them. At the end of July, Deutsche Bank said it would cut 1,900 jobs by the end of the year. Meredith Whitney, who predicted in August 2010 that finance would lose 80,000 jobs over 18 months, has said that another 50,000 jobs on the Street are still set to be axed.

    Through the year ended June 30, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan had cut 18,000 jobs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    Job cuts are becoming the norm as the industry finds itself unable to generate the level of revenue it once did. Investment banking revenue totaled about $31 billion in the first half of 2012, down from $40 billion in the first half of 2011 and flat from 2010's first half of $30 billion, according to data provided by Dealogic. Pending restrictions on proprietary trading, once a big money maker, are shrinking trading books while slow global growth is making firms hesitant to invest.

    Even Goldman Sachs has scaled back hiring

    "Right now it seems the only way to improve the bottom line is to cut costs," said Michael Karp, a managing partner at Options Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm. "That means compensation costs and head count reduction."

    Dribs and Drabs

    Banks are hiring in some areas, just not those with the excitement or level of compensation of trading or investment banking. Many firms are hiring wealth management and compliance personnel.

    Elsewhere, layoffs are coming in dribs and drabs, casting a pall over the industry. Banks will have a "continuous striving for more efficiency than in the past," said Moshe Orenbuch, bank analyst with Credit Suisse, and it will "take several years to sort through." Layoffs are likely to "continue into the first quarter next year," Karp of Options Group said.

    Sales and trading businesses as well as mergers and acquisition advisory work are likely to be targeted for cost-cutting. The Volcker Rule, which would prevent proprietary trading, still hasn't been hammered out, so firms have been shutting desks and spinning parts off their operations.

    "I would expect to see further restructuring in sales and trading," said Richard Lipstein, managing director at Gilbert Tweed Associates, an international executive search firm focused on upper level management positions. "There's more trouble on the equities side rather than the fixed income side."

    Another area ripe for layoffs: mergers and acquisitions. "M&A is still suffering and every industry has been suffering from a dearth of deals," said Lipstein, a result of faltering confidence among chief executives in doing deals. The value of all deals done in the first half of 2012 declined to around $1.2 trillion from around $1.4 trillion a year earlier, according to data provided by Dealogic.

    Credit Suisse Layoffs

    Credit Suisse will lay off 60 directors and managing directors who work in M&A and financing and debt issuance in its European investment banking operations. Junior levels in M&A have also been hit, said Dan Ryan, a partner specializing in financial services at Heidrick & Struggles, a Chicago-based executive search firm.

    It's not just client-facing, revenue-generating roles that are being axed. Some back-office positions, if not being cut back severely, aren't being filled.

    Goldman Sachs, which had planned to fill hundreds to a thousand new roles in technology and operations in Bangalore, India and Salt Lake City, Utah, has scaled back hiring, a person familiar with the matter said. Even positions that need to be filled due to people leaving aren't getting approval from hiring managers, this person said. Another person familiar with the hiring plans said the firm still expects to grow in those locations throughout the rest of the year. Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

    Over the past couple years, the level most in danger of being laid off on Wall Street was the vice president rank. Now, even higher level senior directors and managing directors are being squeezed out, recruiters and employees say. More than 50 partners left Goldman Sachs last year.

    Now, higher level senior directors and MDs are being squeezed out

    "You're going to see more senior level departures and individuals forced out" this year, said Ryan of Heidrick & Struggles. Individuals who were "on the edge," or not bringing in enough revenue, will be cut, but cut quietly, he believes. "It's done subtly and discreetly and individuals are given some time to figure things out."

    At Credit Suisse, the head of U.S. credit strategy, Ken Elgarten, and a managing director on the investment grade credit desk, Daniel Driscoll, recently departed the firm, people familiar with the matter said.

    Wealth Management, Compliance

    Yet amid the gloom, financial services firms are expanding businesses that will generate steady revenue.

    Goldman Sachs has 15 wealth management positions available in Beijing, Hong Kong, Zurich, Atlanta, New York, San Francisco and Seattle, according to its website. A spokeswoman said the bank recently brought on a class of 75 advisers around the world, mostly drawn from campus recruiting efforts. The bank has nearly 70 summer associates working in the unit and plans to extend "dozens of offers" for full-time positions to begin in July 2013, the spokeswoman said.

    Neil Owen, a London-based director at Robert Half, the international staffing firm, said he's seen demand for wealth management professionals from smaller regional banks and private banks, especially in Boston and New York.

    Amid the gloom, firms are hiring in businesses that generate steady revenue

    Within the wealth management division, Goldman's private bank is also growing. While it's not planning to do any "material hiring" for the rest of 2012, a spokeswoman said, it is likely to bring fill specialty lending and mortgage positions over time.

    Goldman also remains bullish on emerging markets, Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said on a conference call with analysts in July, expanding its wealth management offerings in Asia and Latin America.

    Emerging Markets

    Also focused on emerging markets is Standard Chartered, the U.K. bank that expanded in those regions as other banks pulled back. The bank plans to add another 1,000 to 1,500 positions in the second half of this year, it said earlier this month. The bank also plans to add 16 new branches in China and India by next year and nearly 70 branches in Africa within the next couple of years. Standard Chartered currently has 90 branches in China, 94 in India and 183 in Africa.

    Another practice area that continues to be in demand is risk management/compliance, recruiters said.

    John Landers, division director at Robert Half, said quarter over quarter the demand for compliance and risk individuals has "increased significantly." His clients are clamoring for those who have three, five or more years of compliance and regulatory experience. Having a legal background or certifications such as certified fraud examiner or a CPA also helps, he said. There isn't as much demand for entry-level positions, he added.

    Firms are bringing on compliance and risk staff to ensure they're in line with the latest regulations, such as Basel III, which will require U.S. banks with more than $50 billion in assets to set aside more capital beginning in January 2015, and Dodd-Frank, the financial regulation reform act passed in July 2010.

    Recent trading and treasury blow-ups, such as those at UBS last September, MF Global last November and J.P. Morgan in April, are also driving hiring.

    "They need as much talent as they can get, whether it's in credit risk, market risk or operational risk," said a capital markets recruiter. "Either you're a quant who does mathematical modeling to predict what might go wrong, or you're a risk expert who can work on the floor interacting with traders to see what kind of positions they're putting on."

    Write to Julie Steinberg at

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  • 08/20/12--04:30: London Loses to New York
  • The European debt crisis may claim thousands of London finance jobs by the end of 2012, with the wholesale financial services industry taking the brunt of the damage.

    U.K. researcher Oxford Economics estimates London will have a net loss of 3,000 financial jobs this year, while the wholesale financial market may be responsible for more than 25,000 job cuts, according to Bloomberg. The reductions end a run of positive growth in London, which added approximately 28,000 finance jobs in 2010 and 2011, plus another 13,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

    In contrast, New York will add roughly 9,000 finance jobs in 2012, says Oxford, powered by spikes in consumer lending and the growth of smaller boutique firms.

    Those with jobs, however, are likely to get good holiday bonuses, though not at the level they had previously expected. Compensation consultant Johnson Associates said last week that year-end bonuses will be unchanged to 10% higher than in 2011, down from the 5% to 15% increases expected in Johnson's May report.

    The consultancy firm blamed the shift on Europe's sovereign-debt crisis.

    Aviva Taking Bids (Financial Times)

    Unnamed U.S. private equity houses and financial services group Guggenheim Partners are said to be in the running to acquire the U.S. wing of U.K. insurer Aviva, although the talks are being described as preliminary.

    Another One Bites the Dust (Bloomberg)

    Christopher Rokos, co-founder of $36.7 billion hedge fund Brevan Howard Asset Management and one of the firm's top traders, is leaving the company and will stop managing money by the end of the month. Three co-founders have now left Brevan Howard in the last three years.

    When You Fall Off the Horse… (Forbes)

    Jon Corzine, the former chief executive of disgraced brokerage firm MF Global, is reportedly considering opening his own hedge fund, pending that pesky criminal investigation into the collapse of MF Global.

    Layoffs Abound (FINS)

    Some banks are hiring in certain areas, but job cuts outweigh additions. In her last FINS post, Julie Steinberg takes a look back at the job market for first half of 2012.

    Pay Freeze (Financial Times)

    Facing criticism for gaudy executive compensation packages, Australian bank ANZ plans to freeze the salaries of its most senior execs for the second straight year. The roughly 900 top executives will continue to be eligible for bonuses, however.

    Inflate Inflation (WSJ)

    Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, suggested last week that the Fed may need to allow inflation to creep past the current target of 2% to help stimulate job growth.

    Wasendorf Pleads Not Guilty…For Now (Reuters)

    Russell Wasendorf Sr., the disgraced Peregrine Financial Group chief executive arrested last month for allegedly falsifying bank statements, pleaded not guilty on Friday to 31 charges of misleading federal investigators. Wasendorf is expected to broker a plea deal.

    Heading East (Financial News)

    Asset manager Adveq has opened a new office in Hong Kong, giving the private-equity firm a third location in China.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Put a Fork in Him (Daily Mail)

    A U.K. man complaining of cramps was relieved to find out he wasn't suffering from a debilitating stomach condition. He had swallowed a nine-inch fork a decade ago and simply forgot about it.

    List of the Day: Damage Control

    Everyone has embarrassing moments here and there. Here's how to make sure they don't impact your career.

    1. Acknowledge your misstep with a joke.

    2. Stay relaxed -- it'll reduce others' judgment and anxiety.

    3. Apologize directly to someone if you've offended them.

    (Source: AOL Jobs)

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    Tip: Hedge Fund Bridgewater Expanding

    With a little assistance from the state of Connecticut, hedge fund Bridgewater Associates is moving to a new location in Stamford, where the 1,200-person firm plans to almost double its staff over the next decade on the back of a $25 million "forgivable" 10-year loan and other state perks. No word yet as to the type of positions that will be created, other than that they will be "high level" roles.

    Tools to get the job:

    Interview Blunders to Be Aware Of

    The Perfect Wealth Management Resume

    The Top Eight Rules of Networking

    Tip: Go East, Old Man

    With job opportunities at a premium in Europe and North America, many senior banking execs are finding success in the Middle East, where investment banks are stepping up their recruiting efforts.

    Tools to get the job:

    Seven Ways to Keep Your Resume Out of the Trash

    How to Get a Finance Job Abroad

    The Safest Jobs in Finance

    Tip: Luck of the Irish

    Tapped to help manage Bank of Scotland's Irish loan book, debt management company Certus plans to hire 45 additional finance workers, including 30 experienced collections and banking experts as well as 15 fresh graduates.

    Tools to get the job:

    What Not to Say in a Job Interview

    Play Golf to Get Ahead

    Seven Networking No-Nos

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  • 08/21/12--04:30: Holes in Swiss Jobs
  • Well, forget that ski chalet.

    Swiss banks may continue to shed jobs over the next decade as proposed withholding taxes are expected to cut into banks' once-robust profit margins, according to the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA).

    Stricter regulations may result in "fewer jobs, lower tax revenue and more expensive banking services," Chief Executive Officer Claude-Alain Margelisch told Bloomberg in an emailed statement.

    The SBA expects to see a 0.3% annual decline in finance jobs through 2020 as bank revenues fall. However, new regulations may also make Swiss banks more attractive to a subset of consumers who otherwise fear the legal uncertainty of investing in Switzerland, said Margelisch.

    The Swiss financial sector made headlines earlier this week when reports surfaced that HSBC and at least four other Swiss financial institutions handed over emails and phone records of their employees to the U.S. Department of Justice as it continues its wide-ranging investigation into income tax evasion.

    I'm now on Twitter! Follow me @BeecherTuttle

    Whale Worries (WSJ)

    Former Exxon chief executive Lee Raymond is to head an independent committee charged with investigating the cause of J.P. Morgan's multi-billion dollar trading debacle.

    Fresh Competition (AP)

    Chicago-based CME Group plans to launch a London-based derivatives exchange with an initial focus on the currency-futures market. Pending approval, the exchange will launch in mid-2013, and could eventually compete directly with the European exchanges Liffe and Eurex.

    Another Setback (Financial News)

    After losing both its CEO and COO to an insider trading scandal, Japanese bank Nomura's London broker arm posted a $1.27 billion loss for the fiscal year ended March 31. Nomura International cut roughly 200 of its 3,300 employees from March 2011 through March 2012.

    New IB Head (WSJ)

    Barclays has hired IC Liu, former chairman of Taiwanese smart payment card maker EasyCard Corp., as its new investment-banking head for Taiwan.

    Poaching War (On Wall Street)

    Wells Fargo did some serious poaching this summer, recruiting a host of financial advisers from competitors Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch and UBS, among others. The new hires bring with them nearly $1.4 billion in assets.

    Analytical Skills Needed (Financial News)

    The position of the buyside trader has changed considerably in recent years, evolving from a fairly straightforward role to a job that requires sophisticated quantitative analytic skills.

    L&G Expanding (Financial News)

    London-based Legal & General is considering expanding its lending business by building a new infrastructure finance unit.

    Buzz Around the Office

    What the…Twilight (MSN)

    An Oklahoma high school is withholding the diploma of its valedictorian after the girl used the word "hell" in her graduation speech. We would sympathize but she was referencing a scene from Twilight at the time.

    List of the Day: Getting Ahead in Year One

    Starting a career can be tough. These hints can help improve your path.

    1. Try to build a personal relationship with everyone, even if you don't work directly with them.

    2. Cover for a colleague when they need help.

    3. Find a mentor.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)

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    Landing a finance job in the emirate of Dubai has become tougher since the recession, but jobs have bounced back quicker than in New York or London.

    The City of Gold is even seeing some untapped growth, says Shane Phillips, Dubai-based executive search consultant with Stanton Chase International whose clients include financial services firms throughout the Middle East. "Many of my clients are doubling in size over the next 24 months, while the big established western [firms] are all scaling back their operations," he says.

    Those who work in the emirate, population 2 million, appreciate the luxury amenities, clean beaches, sunny skies and international feel. The Dubai International Financial Centre, the city's finance hub, had 848 registered companies in 2011, up 7% from the previous year. More new companies registering means more hiring to come.

    Most of Dubai's finance professionals are expats from Asia, Europe and North America. While the plush contracts of 2008 are rare, the tax-free salaries and impressive work life balance are a major draw.

    Eager to work in Dubai? Here's what it takes to land a finance job in the emirate:

    Multicultural Ties are a Must

    With 80% of the community coming from outside of the United Arab Emirates, the diverse culture is reflected in the workforce. Those eager to work in the region need experience with managing a truly multicultural workforce including employees of Arab, African, European and Asian descent, says Gareth Clayton a director at Dubai-based recruiting firm Charterhouse Partnership, which recruits in the financial sector. "Clients need to be culturally in-tune with where they are going to be working," says Clayton and adds that it's important to point out early on during the interviewing process. Get experience by joining international business organizations or taking short-term projects abroad.

    Ditch the Political Correctness

    Conversely, it's common to put your ethnicity or nationality on your resume, identifying yourself as an American citizen. Some firms demand finance professionals who fit a certain demographic, such as someone of European origin, Clayton says. In the West, "you can't even talk to clients about a person's age, nationality or their sexual orientation, whereas here clients will tell us not just about the skill set they need but about the nationality," he says. This kind of information also affects work permit requirements: "We quite often add details that candidates don't normally put on their [resume] like family statuses, date of birth and nationality," he says.

    Demonstrate Regional Flexibility

    Being flexible to work in cities across the region like Jeddah or Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, Muscat in Oman or even the nearby Emirate of Abu Dhabi can help you eventually break in to the more established market in Dubai, says Patricia McCall, regional director for Duke University's Fuqua School of Business in Dubai.

    "It's best to be very open-minded about where in the region you'd want to work," says McCall, a U.S. expat who worked in Cairo, Egypt before becoming head of research at a Dubai-based consulting and corporate finance firm. The GDPs of these surrounding Gulf Cooperation Council countries are steadily expanding, with neighboring countries like Qatar and Oman growing at more than 10% per year.

    Stay Flexible in Work Responsibilities

    As a smaller financial center, analysts or managers often need to do much more than their job description calls for in the East or West, Duke's McCall says. As an analyst be willing to take on responsibilities like recruiting which are not always a traditional part of the role and have the ability to multitask beyond their standard role. "Often times the organizations here tend to be more flexible in terms of their reporting lines," McCall says.

    Impress with Global Credentials

    Whether touting your M.B.A. program or highlighting a big bank on your resume -- spotlighting well recognized names is a must. "We live in a branded world [and] it should be clear which brands you work for [and] which brands you have serviced as clients," says Stanton Chase's Phillips. With most large banks operating offices in the region only within the last decade, hiring managers can be extra impressed by big name experience or graduates of elite business schools.

    Highlight Public Sector Experience

    Many of Dubai's entities are a partnership between the government and private sector. The Emirate's ruling Maktoum family sits on dozens of boards and Dubai-based companies must have a local partner to set up their business. So whether or not your prior government experience is related to finance, it's a good idea to place it at the top of your resume, suggests McCall. "You need to understand the intersection between public and private, as it's quite a unique place," she points out.

    Set Up a Local Home Base

    For a leg up, consider visiting Dubai for an extended time during your search. A U.S. citizen, for example, is automatically given a 30-day tourist visa. As in any other finance capital, Dubai's companies want to see a sincere commitment, so if you want a job in the emirate, conduct your search in Dubai, not from your desk computer in New York.

    "Our organization has a lot of success with those who are on the ground and fresh into the market here," says Clayton. He adds that there's always a need for entry-level candidates looking to relocate with starting base salaries of $4,000 per month tax-free.

    Learn Islamic Finance

    Not all finance roles call for Islamic finance knowledge, but it can be a huge bonus especially for Mideast-based banks or venture capital funds. "A lot of the bigger banks are opening Islamic finance divisions and you may find [a position] where you are doing both Islamic finance and traditional finance," McCall says.

    Local campuses of top business schools like Duke's Fuqua and Cass Business School integrate Islamic finance principles consistent with Sharia law into the coursework. Islamic Finance is consistent with moral codes of Islam, forbidding practices like collecting interest or investing in businesses considered haraam or unlawful. Of course, hiring managers also look for quantitative accomplishments, leadership experience, and teamwork skills.

    Understand Sponsorship Requirements

    Even when you land a job, relocating is not as simple as packing your bags. The United Arab Emirates requires residents to be sponsored by their companies in order to award a residency visa, which is the same in many countries. So only companies can apply for a residency visa on your behalf. Expats cannot become citizens according to UAE law, but the visa can be renewed.

    Once you break in, the quality of life is worth is, says Phillips. With more affordable services, it's easier to make your salary go further than in the world's other finance capitals. "Most execs have a driver, a nanny, a cook. This is all at the fraction of the cost that you would be able to have these things in the U.S. or U.K.," he says. "Most people don't want to leave once they spend some time here."

    Write to Alina Dizik at

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    Maybe the Greeks should brush up on their central banking skills.

    In a strangely ironic twist, Europe's escalating debt crisis, which has claimed thousands of jobs, is leading the European Central Bank (ECB) to add to its own staff. Managing that pesky euro zone problem led by Greece has forced ECB workers to put in constant overtime. Thus, the central banking authority plans to add about 40 new positions in the coming weeks and months, according to the Associated Press.

    In a recent survey of its 1,600-person staff, the ECB found that 75% work regular overtime. ECB workers are required to monitor loans and bailouts across a number of European nations, a task that is taking employees away from their daily activities, says the AP. Many believe the workload is far from temporary as the ECB will act as a centralized banking supervisor if European leaders have their way.

    No word yet on what types of positions will be created.

    Meanwhile, commercial banks across Europe are cutting staff. Credit Suisse recently said it would increase its cost-cutting initiatives by 50% while Deutsche Bank said it would cut 1,900 jobs by the end of the year.

    Whitman Guilty (NY Times)

    Doug Whitman, former hedge fund manager at California-based Whitman Capital, was convicted of insider trading after taking his case to the jury. All eight insider trading defendants who have failed to make a plea deal in Federal District Court in Manhattan have now been found guilty.

    Mass Exodus (Financial News)

    Raghu Hariharan, head of European insurance research at Citigroup, is leaving the company to take a director position at Prudential. Three research heads have now left Citigroup in the last month.

    Changing of the Guard (Financial News)

    John Beech, chief investment officer for FRM, left the company in May, around the same time the fund of funds manager was sold to Man Group. Deputy chief investment officer Keith Haydon is now running the show at FRM.

    Rosen Out (Bloomberg)

    Eric Rosen, the co-head of UBS's fixed-income, currencies and commodities business for the Americas, will leave the firm in September to start his own credit hedge fund. Rosen is the latest of several UBS executives to leave the firm in the past year following a trading debacle that resulted in more than a $2 billion loss for the Swiss lender.

    On Strike (Times of India)

    Trading volumes in India are expected to nose dive on Wednesday if bank unions follow through on plans to launch a two-day strike to oppose various government reform proposals. As many as one million employees may not show up for work.

    Stay Optimistic (Business Insider)

    The richest and most influential financial gurus once started at the bottom, just like you and me. Bloomberg was a parking attendant, Buffett sold chewing gum and Schwab bagged walnuts. But not for long, so don't make a career of it.

    Finding Work in Dubai (FINS)

    With opportunities drying up in the U.S., many job seekers have begun looking overseas. Here's what it takes to land a finance job in Dubai.

    Buzz Around the Office

    This is Sooner Country, Son (MSN)

    A five-year-old student at an Oklahoma elementary school was forced to turn his University of Michigan T-shirt inside-out because it's against school policy to wear sports-related apparel that doesn't feature an Oklahoma university.

    List of the Day: Workplace Politics

    Talking politics at work is fine, but heed these warnings.

    1. Don't touch sensitive issues.

    2. Don't be any more vocal with co-workers when out of the office.

    3. If things get heated, walk away.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)

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    Hoping to take advantage of wounded competition and a buyer's market for talent, Citigroup is investing more heavily in its European credit sales and trading team.

    The U.S. bank will grow the team by roughly 5% over the next six to 12 months, Conor Davis, head of Citigroup's credit sales for Europe, told Bloomberg. The team will focus on pairing buyers with European lenders that are selling off assets to stay afloat during the euro crisis.

    "We see areas of potential growth which would require further investment," Davis told Bloomberg. "This crisis and the de-leveraging of European banks are bringing a lot of trading opportunities because risk needs to be shifted out of the banks' balance sheets."

    The news is eye-catching considering Citigroup said in January it would eliminate 5,000 jobs over a few quarters. The bank has reportedly already let go as many as 2,000 employees this year.

    European banks, meanwhile, have hemorrhaged in excess of 30,000 jobs this year.

    Data Breach (Swiss Info)

    Switzerland's data protection commissioner is investigating the legality of several Swiss banks handing over emails and phone records of their employees to the U.S. Department of Justice. "We have demanded that no further bank employee data be sent to the US," Hanspeter Thür told the Tages Anzeiger.

    Be Tough (Financial News)

    Want to become a trader in today's market? Be diplomatic, technologically-savvy and, perhaps most importantly, thick-skinned.

    Deep Cuts Looming (Financial News)

    Top execs at Nomura Holdings will get together next week for their annual strategy retreat. Among topics to be discussed: deep cost cuts.

    New M&A Head (NYT)

    Laurence Grafstein, the former co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Rothschild, has been named a managing director and the M&A co-head of the Americas at UBS.

    Rohde Scholar (Reuters)

    Lars Rohde, CEO of Danish pension fund ATP, is quickly adding to his resume. Rohde has been named the governor of the Danish central bank, effective February 1, 2013.

    Strike On (Reuters)

    As expected, around one million Indian bank workers didn't show up for work on Wednesday as part of a two-day strike to oppose various government reform proposals. Trading volumes dipped by more than 50%.

    Empty Seats (Reuters)

    French bank Societe Generale, which plans on cutting the ribbon on its enormous and long-awaited $300 million trading house later this year, may not fill all the seats. The bank has laid off nearly 900 workers since signing off on the structure.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Oh Craps! (NY Post)

    A group of gamblers took the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City for $1.5 million, winning an astounding 41 hands in a row in mini-baccarat, after realizing that they were playing with unshuffled decks of cards. The casino is suing the gamblers.

    List of the Day: Overqualified?

    If you've ever been told you're overqualified for a job, it could mean a few things.

    1. Your personality doesn't fit the office culture.

    2. You were paid too much previously and may jump ship.

    3. You acted like a know-it-all in the interview.

    (Source: AOL Jobs)

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    The world's largest investment banks have shed nearly 6% of their staff over the past year, cutting headcount by roughly 10,000 from June 2011 through June 2012, according to a Financial News analysis.

    The report, which aggregated headcount numbers from UBS, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan and Unicredit, along with estimates from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, found that workforce reductions have become more prevalent in the last six months, compared to the second half of 2011.

    Goldman Sachs, which recently reported its lowest first-half revenue in seven years, cut the greatest number of jobs, slicing headcount by nearly 10%, according to the report. Barclays, meanwhile, trimmed its staff by just over 1% during the 12-month period, making it the most stable investment bank of the eight companies assessed.

    The beneficiary of industry-wide job cuts in North America and Europe may be Middle Eastern investment banks, like the National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Qatar National Bank, which are poaching experienced i-bankers from the West who can't find work at home.

    Claims on the Rise (MarketWatch)

    Jobless claims increased again last week, rising an additional 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000. The previous week's totals were also revised up to 368,000, roughly 2,000 more than previously reported.

    Phoenix Rising (Reuters)

    Howard Davies, former chairman of Britain's Financial Services Authority and the one-time deputy governor of the Bank of England, has been named the new chairman of British life insurer Phoenix, effective Oct. 1.

    Executive Reorg (Financial News)

    Paris-based LCH.Clearnet, an independent clearing house soon to be under the ownership of the London Stock Exchange, continued its hiring spree this week by tapping a new chief executive officer, Oliver Corbett, former finance director at insurance underwriter Novae Group.

    Plural Investments to Shutter (FIN Alternatives)

    New York hedge fund Plural Investments will return $440 million of capital to investors and close its doors at the end of September. Founder Matt Grossman, a former SAC Capital Advisors exec, told investors in a letter that he desires a "more flexible investment mandate than the one we have pursued since the launch of the funds."

    Religare Refocusing at Home (Financial News)

    India's Religare Capital Markets plans to shutter its U.K. investment banking unit and sell its newly created South African equities business, Religare Noah Capital Markets, to the group's current management.

    Money Market Reform Shot Down (Reuters)

    SEC Chair Mary Schapiro has lost her initial bid to impose new regulations aimed at stabilizing U.S. money market funds. Opponents believe the proposed rules would entice investors to pull their money from such funds.

    Banks Clawing Back (The Telegraph)

    Roughly 15% of global banks have reclaimed bonuses from executives in the last year due to gross negligence or generally poor performance.

    Buzz Around the Office

    When Not to Canoodle (Buzz Feed)

    Here's another great reason to improve your vocabulary. It may prevent you from inadvertently propositioning your co-worker…on camera.

    List of the Day: Performance Reviews

    You've got to be an active participant to get the most out of your performance review.

    1. Ask about areas where you need to improve, even if you get a glowing review.

    2. Ensure that your role and objectives are clearly defined moving forward.

    3. Agree to a timeline for raises, promotions and bonuses.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)

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  • 08/27/12--07:30: More Banks Claw Back
  • The claws are coming out.

    Fourteen percent of global banks exercised compensation clawbacks last year, and their implementation at financial-services firms is on the rise, according to a new study from work force consultants Mercer and more firms are putting such provisions into their compensation plans.

    Most of the clawbacks -- 73% -- occurred because of a breach of code of conduct, while 63% took back compensation because of individual noncompliance, breach of authority or ethical infractions.

    Some HR experts expected the percentage of clawbacks to be higher. "A small number of clawbacks doesn't signify that the sector is ignoring lessons from the financial crisis," said Vicki Elliott, global financial services human capital leader with Mercer, in an interview with HR Magazine, "but does raise legitimate questions about whether companies will actually seek payback of compensation paid."

    In the case of J.P. Morgan's "London Whale" trading debacle, which led to a $2 billion loss, clawback decisions came down hard and fast. The bank has said managers in the Chief Investment Office responsible for the loss are no longer with the firm, according to Financial News, and they didn't collect 2012 bonuses or severance upon exiting. Other clawbacks may be considered during the 2012 compensation season.

    Fearless (Economist)

    Some Swiss bankers are staying under the radar this summer by remaining in the country to avoid skirmishes with tax authorities outside its borders.

    Not So Fast (Heard on the Street)

    At first glance, strong numbers coming out of China's state-owned banks indicate that they have no intention of slowing down, but some believe things aren't as rosy as they appear.

    Consequences (Bloomberg)

    Aviva, the U.K.'s second-largest insurer, will cut up to 800 jobs to lessen the blow it's taking from the crisis in the euro zone.

    So You Want to Be a Trader (Mergers and Inquisitions)

    If you're weighing the pros and cons between life at a bulge-bracket or as a prop-trader, you might consider payouts, interviews, education and day-to-day life.

    Back to Business (Economic Times)

    After a two-day union strike in protest of banking sector reforms, Indian financial-services workers returned to the daily grind on Friday, but not before ATMs in the region ran out of cash.

    Hey, You Never Know (At Work)

    A New York City man has taken up part-time residence on busy Manhattan street corners, handing out his resume. The tactic has led to five job interviews since he began the stunt a month ago.

    Wanna Be on Top? (Bloomberg)

    Kimberley Stolz, an employee at brokerage BTIG and a former contestant on America's Next Top Model, has been scooped up by Citigroup for a vice president role in equity-derivative sales.

    Buzz Around the Office

    A Place to Call Home (BuzzFeed)

    From Frasier and Friends to I Love Lucy and the Simpsons, here are 15 iconic, made-for-TV floor plans sketched out for your viewing pleasure.

    List of the Day: Lessons from Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong's decision to step back from doping allegations led to him being stripped of the accolades that have made his career as an athlete. Here's what you can learn from him:

    1. Know when a battle is worth fighting.

    2. Sometimes stepping away does more harm to your opponent.

    3. A scandal doesn't always mean your career is over.

    (Source: AOL Jobs)

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    Every sales professional wants a job that pays top dollar. Contrary to popular belief, these great sales jobs aren't rare, even in a weak economy. Here's how to find them.

    Where is the Money?

    For most sales professionals, a sales job isn't great unless it pays well. Unfortunately, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the majority of sales job are in retail where compensation tends be low: an average of $25,000 a year. While there are a few big-ticket exceptions (like auto sales), if you're looking for big money, you'll need to look elsewhere.

    According to the BLS, these jobs are most likely to command top dollar:

    Securities, commodities, and financial services. Sales professionals in this field earn average compensation approaching $100,000 a year by selling investments to individuals and institutions and by explaining the costs, benefits and risks of making those investments. The best paid sales professionals earn millions of dollars a year.

    Engineering Sales. Sales professionals in this field (typically called "sales engineers") sell complex technological offerings to businesses using their extensive knowledge of the products and their understanding of the scientific processes behind them. Average compensation, at $97,320 a year, is nearly as high as financial sales, but there's less variation between the top and bottom of the field. However, many sales engineering jobs (like selling semiconductor design services) require an engineering degree, which most sales job seekers lack.

    Real estate. Real estate brokers and agents both help clients buy, sell, and rent properties. However, there's a huge difference in compensation between brokers, who are licensed to own a brokerage, and agents, who must work with a broker. Brokers command an average compensation of an average of $83,830 a year, while agents earn a comparatively paltry average of $51,170 a year.

    Wholesale and Manufacturing. These are the classic "business to business" sales jobs, where reps sell goods and services to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations by contacting customers, explaining product features, answering questions and negotiating prices. For technical and scientific industries, the average yearly compensation is $85,750; those in non-technical industries command $63,520.

    Insurance. Sales professionals in this field earn an average compensation of $62,340 a year. Making money in this business is largely dependent upon your ability to generate new business by contacting potential customers, explaining various insurance policies and helping clients choose plans that suit them. Some insurance agents offer policies that act as investments, as well, thereby putting them in the financial sales category as well.

    Advertising. Selling advertising (print, broadcast and web) services to businesses and individuals remains a fairly lucrative field, with agents earning an average of $55,430. However, times have changed since the Mad Men era, and this type of selling involves less of the traditional glad-handing routine and more of the detailed knowledge of technology that can help companies coordinate complex campaigns executed through multiple messaging channels.

    Travel. Surprisingly, travel agents earn an average compensation of $35,740 a year, despite the fact that many consumers and businesspeople use sites like Orbitz and Travelocity and book flights and hotels. The field has remained resilient because of the growth in exotic travel, where the expertise of the agent helps ensure that the traveler has a positive (and safe) experience.

    How Can I Get It?

    Once you've decided which general sales category is right for you, you need a plan to find the right job. We asked some sales job experts for advice and here's what they told us:

    Sell something that interests you. Whatever the industry you work inside, if you're intrigued by what you're selling, you're far more likely to be successful, both at winning a great job and then succeeding at it. "When looking for a sales position my advice is that the professional should find a field he or she is interested in and cares about whether the product or service is in technology, health care, professional services, manufacturing, financial services, and so forth," says Linda Richardson, founder of the sales training firm Richardson.

    Sell something strategic. In every field, the big money is products and services that are play a crucial role in the buyer's success, according to Dave Stein, the CEO of ES Research, a company that studies the sales training market. "Your average salesperson who has a territory and hopefully bangs out their numbers quarter by quarter selling a less-than-mission-critical product or service has a hard job, with a lot of pressure, and which can yield inconsistent and less-than-impressive paychecks," he warns.

    Don't avoid "inside sales" jobs. In the past, inside jobs (where selling is done largely by telephone and email) were considered to be career dead-end. However, that's no longer the case, according to Richardson. "Thanks to tools such as webinars, there is a trend to move the more complex sale inside where solutions are sold as opposed to products," says Richardson, who adds that, overall, the number of "inside sales" jobs are growing at a rate of seven times that of outside sales jobs.

    Become an entrepreneur. Because the business world is constantly changing, sales managers value sales professionals who can adapt to the needs of the customer, without depending upon an infrastructure of clerical staff and sales support. "Sales leaders are taking the time to rethink their orgs, wanting flatter and more nimble organizations," explains Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of SellingPower magazine.

    Develop specific expertise. A weak economy has created increased competition for the best sales jobs, according to Richardson. "Firms are hiring but are much, much more selective because the pool of candidates is so much greater," she says. The key to being an outstanding sales job candidate is to know more than your competition. "There will always be a need for that breed of sales professional who knows their industry, products, customers, and how their products help their customers achieve their goals and objectives," Stein explains.

    Don't get discouraged. While competition for the best sales jobs can be fierce, there is always enough "churn" in top sales organizations to ensure a constant supply of job openings, "It doesn't matter what's going on in the economy, there's always a high attrition rate which means that they're always hiring more people, especially those willing to work as independent sales reps on straight commission," explains Wendy Weiss, author of "Cold Calling for Women" (DFD Publications, 2010)

    Finding a great sales job doesn't just mean finding the jobs that pay well, but the high-paying job that's right for you. It's not enough to know where the jobs are; you must also become a job candidate who has the courage, determination and patience to take full advantage of the job openings that come your way.

    Geoffrey James is an award-winning journalist who also authors's Sales Source, the world's most-read sales-oriented blog. He has written hundreds of articles on sales and marketing and helped thousands of sales professionals communicate more effectively. His newly published book is How to Say It: Business to Business Selling (Prentice Hall, 2011).

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    The fallout from the Libor rate-fixing scandal may be more dramatic and costly than first thought. Barclays' $450 million settlement with U.K. and U.S. regulators is just the beginning, says The Wall Street Journal. Insurers, lenders and individual investors are lining up to take a piece of Barclays and other financial institutions accused of colluding to manipulate bond rates.

    Potential liabilities for Barclays and other banks being investigated – Bank of America, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase – could reach as high as $176 billion, according to one recent estimate, although other analysts project claims will range from roughly $8 billion to $47 billion, says the Journal.

    Although Barclays is the current linchpin of the Libor scandal, the British bank may actually be in a more enviable position than other firms linked to the rate-fixing fiasco that have failed to admit any wrongdoing, Bart Naylor, an expert in financial regulation at the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, told NBC News.

    One point of contention in the lawsuits is whether or not the banks under investigation worked together to manipulate the rate, a charge that the firms have reportedly denied, leading them to file motions to dismiss the suits.

    Banks embroiled in the scandal have been making moves to prevent a repeat occurrence. Barclays recently appointed David Walker, a former U.K. treasury official with a long history in corporate governance, as its chairman.

    Claws are Out (CNN)

    In a possible preview of things to come, Deutsche Bank on Monday became the first global financial institution to impose rules that enable the bank to claw back stock awarded to executives by former employers.

    On the Chopping Block (CNBC)

    As part of its vast cost-cutting plans, Nomura Holdings is preparing to cut hundreds of jobs in its equities and investment banking sectors, among others.

    Schwarzman's List (Reuters)

    Blackstone Group Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman doesn't plan on retiring any time soon, but he is grooming potential successors. The latest is Joe Baratta, 41, the new global head of private equity at Blackstone.

    Internal Libor Probe Growing (Financial News)

    Russell Collins, a veteran chartered accountant who last held the role of vice chairman at Deloitte, will work alongside Anthony Salz to lead Barclays' internal investigation into the Libor rate-fixing scandal. Collins will act as Salz's number two.

    Jefferies' Director Out (Financial News)

    Jamie Graham, managing director and head of equity-linked securities for U.S. investment bank Jefferies' European operations, was terminated last week. No word on the reason.

    Calamos Bets on Black (Denver Business Journal)

    One-time Janus Capital Group CEO Gary Black will join Calamos Investments as its new co-chief investment officer, succeeding Nick Calamos, who is leaving the firm to pursue personal interests. Black's team from Black Capital will also be joining Calamos Investments.

    Pay Cuts (WSJ)

    More than half of long-tenured workers who lost their full-time job between 2009 and 2011 and who found new work accepted positions at lower salaries.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Don't Be Obtrusive and You'll Live Forever, Apparently (MSN)

    The world's oldest person turned 116 on Sunday. Her key to living a long life? "I mind my own business…and I don't eat junk food." Both habits sound rough.

    List of the Day: Lessons from "Dirty Dancing"

    "Dirty Dancing" is awkward in all the right ways. That doesn't mean your job needs to be. Here are a few lessons the 1980s classic can teach us.

    1. Money isn't everything. Follow your heart when making career decisions.

    2. Sometimes you need to take a risk and break the rules.

    3. You're going to make mistakes. Own them.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)

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    Tip: Dubai Adding Finance Jobs

    Like all other locales, Dubai's financial center was hit hard by the recession. But finance jobs are coming back faster in the emirate than in Europe or North America as larger banks re-scale their operations and new companies begin opening their doors.

    Tools to get the job:

    How to Get a Finance Job Abroad

    The Safest Jobs in Finance

    Go East, Old Man

    Tip: Citigroup Adding Talent Despite Euro Crisis

    With its competition shedding jobs, Citigroup is adding to its European credit sales and trading team. The U.S. bank will grow the team by roughly 5% over the next six to 12 months, capitalizing on the buyer's market for top-level talent.

    Tools to get the job:

    The Perfect Sales and Trading Resume

    Seven Networking No-Nos

    What Not to Say in a Job Interview

    Tip: European Central Bank Beefing Up Staff

    Europe's escalating debt crisis isn't all bad for finance hiring. With bailouts and large loans becoming the norm in Europe, the central banking authority is overwhelmed with work, and plans to add roughly 40 new positions in the coming weeks and months.

    Tools to get the job:

    The Top Eight Rules of Networking

    Seven Ways to Keep Your Resume Out of the Trash

    Moving Beyond the Traditional Resume

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    The world's largest investment banks suffered through a disappointing first half of 2012, driven by lower trading volumes, a lull in deal-making and a vulnerable cash equities business, according to a new study.

    Revenue increased in only three of the 13 largest business lines at the world's top investment banks during the first half of the year, according to Financial News, citing a Coalition study. The other 10 business lines fell short of expectations, contributing to a 7.5% industry-wide dip in revenue, from $93 billion to $86 billion.

    The cash equities business was one of the biggest disappointments, with revenue falling 25% from a year ago, leading bankers and headhunters to question whether further job cuts are looming for the second half of the year, according to Reuters. Stock trading and advisory units also appear vulnerable to cuts.

    Large investment banks have already shed nearly 6% of their staff over the past year, cutting head count by roughly 10,000 from June 2011 through June 2012. Goldman Sachs has been the most active, slicing head count by nearly 10%.

    ResCap Probe (Reuters)

    Residential Capital, the mortgage unit of Ally Financial, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possible mortgage fraud. The probe got underway in February but was first disclosed late Monday.

    Board Members Knighted (Reuters)

    Knight Capital, which recently lost $440 million due to an embarrassing computer-trading glitch, added three new board members this week, including directors at Blackstone Group and General Atlantic, firms that gave Knight a financial lifeline after the trading debacle.

    Greek Fallout (WSJ)

    Credit Agricole appears on the verge of exiting Greece, ending a disastrous six-year run as the owner of the Emporiki Bank. The French firm said that it is currently reviewing three bids for Emporiki.

    Reaching Out (Financial News)

    China's new regulation allowing insurers to work with third-party fund managers may soon lead to a new partnership. Ping An Insurance has sent out requests for proposals to external firms in an effort to diversify its investments.

    Come on Down (DJ Newswire)

    Boutique investment bank Gleacher has appointed Citigroup alum Randolph Barker its new head of investment banking and capital markets. Barker is replacing Jeffrey Tepper, who is leaving Gleacher for undisclosed reasons.

    A Mighty Haul (Financial News)

    ED&F Man has poached three foreign exchange traders from competitor Marex, all of whom happened to have worked for MF Global before it collapsed. The threesome jumped ship back in June.

    Costly Mistake (Des Moines Register)

    A Wells Fargo Home Mortgage employee was let go last month after the firm became aware that he used a fake dime to operate a washing machine…in 1963.

    Buzz Around the Office

    The Donald Speaks (TMZ)

    Donald Trump has never been one to hold back on taking sexist jabs at powerful women (just ask Rosie O'Donnell). His latest victim is Arianna Huffington, whom The Donald referred to as "unattractive both inside and out." Then he really got to work.

    List of the Day: Losing Out on a Promotion

    If you didn't get that promotion you wanted, here's what you should do next to make the most of the situation.

    1. Push through the disappointment and take an honest look at your work.

    2. Tell the decision maker you understand and respect their decision.

    3. Have a heart-to-heart with your new boss and offer them support.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)

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  • 08/29/12--09:05: The 15-Minute Job Hunt
  • Looking for a job may be a full-time occupation, but actually spending 40-plus hours per week looking at job listings won't cut it. Nor will spending all of those hours mass-emailing your resume.

    What will work is a diversified strategy. If you're busy working full-time already, or if you have other day-to-day responsibilities, knowing what types of tasks you can complete when you only have 15 minutes to spare will help you use your time to its fullest.

    Here are five strategies that can help you fill out the nooks and crannies of your day-to-day job search.

    Tweet, Tweet

    The use of personal social media accounts as a job-seeking tool makes some people cringe, but if you're willing to put yourself out there, Twitter can be a mine of contacts and information.

    If you're a tweeting rookie, start by following these types of accounts: your favorite companies (ones in your industry that you'd like to work for -- and their competitors); major players at those companies and in the industry (the chief executive of your top-choice ad agency, the firm's executives, any human resources or in-house recruiting accounts); industry thought leaders (reputable bloggers or researchers, high-profile retirees); recruiting firms specializing in your industry; professional organizations or societies.

    Any of these accounts could tip you off to job leads, news items that could be a topic of discussion in an upcoming interview, events coming up that you should attend, additional people to follow and connect with and more. You should also be an active Twitter user. "On social media, you can keep your network informed of what you are doing and share value-added information with them by updating your status," says Cheryl Palmer, president of Call to Career, a Washington, D.C.-area career coaching business.

    If you're already following your top companies and industry associations, consider joining a Twitter chat. They're a great way to find other people in the Twittersphere who are in the same industry or who have a similar professional interest as you do. "If a potential employer sees that a candidate is engaging with industry experts and that they are genuinely interested in the topic, the company will be more inclined to begin a conversation with the candidate," says Tiffany Jennings, the "digital zookeeper" at Vitamin T, a staffing agency specializing in creative roles.

    By searching for a chat's designated hashtag (for example, Harvard Business Review hosts a discussion about workplace issues regularly using the #HBRChat hashtag), you can follow the conversation and join in when you have something to contribute.

    Five-Minute Add-On: Scan your followers' latest tweets for an article you can read. Take a look, and share it with your own network with your thoughts on the story. Make sure you mention the user who shared it first when you share it, so they know you share a similar interest. "This is a way of staying in touch with your network without pestering them," Palmer says.

    Organized Alerts

    When Simone Smith was a college senior at George Washington University in Washington D.C. two years ago, she had a packed academic and work schedule and couldn't look for a job full-time. Nonetheless, she says, "I applied to over 100 job postings before the semester was up and was able to secure my dream job just four days after graduating." She became head of outreach at HubPages, a San Francisco-based website that hosts user-generated content.

    Her secret: The use of RSS feeds and Google alerts. "I didn't have much time for job hunting, so I broke the process into small 15-minute tasks utilizing very specific Craigslist RSS feeds, Google Reader, and a series of easily customizable cover letter and resume templates," she said.

    By setting up feeds like these as well as alerts on job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn, you can have updates coming straight to your email daily. "Using job search alerts will make your job search more efficient," says Palmer. "There is no need to search job boards every day for new openings. Simply set your search criteria and let the sites send you results that match your criteria."

    Five-Minute Add-On: Once you've found a job listing that looks interesting, search the Web or LinkedIn to see if you can identify the person who held that position previously. Have they been promoted? What was their job prior to holding the position they are leaving? This information can help you see what experience the hiring manager might be looking for, and if the job could set you up for your desired career trajectory.

    Group Up

    An underused and underappreciated feature on LinkedIn are professional "groups." They are literally a place where you can find thousands of people in your industry with similar interests and professional knowledge that could benefit you directly. That is a pretty tough thing to find in real life, let alone in 15 minutes.

    If you work in health insurance, for example, click on the "groups" tab and search for "health insurance." Groups with a lot of members, denoted as "very active" are your best bet, since they tend to have regular participants asking and answering questions. "Look for the groups that have lots of topics, lots of movement, lots of people talking and sharing ideas on the same subjects," says Adina Balauru, author of "Help Me Find a Job." "That's where you can be very visible."

    When scanning discussions in a group, you might find that someone has asked how to get a job in a specific field, or launched a discussion about the impact health care reform is having on employees in the industry. These discussions are a terrific way to get advice from a lot of people working in your desired field without having to identify them on your own, and to come up with talking points about current events and trends in your industry of choice.

    Five-Minute Add-On: Don't see a question you're looking for the answer to? Ask it yourself!

    Play to Your Strengths

    Job seeking is a good time to learn the difference between "confidence" and "cockiness." The best way to do that is to take a good, hard look at your career thus far and pinpoint three to five things you are most proud of. They can be projects you worked on, a crazy-tight deadline you met with flying colors, a difficult situation you were able to effectively mitigate, an award you received, or anything that you think illustrates your work ethic and strengths.

    "Candidates must remember they are competing against many other individuals with similar backgrounds," says Rick Dacri of Dacri and Associates, a Maine-based human resources consultancy. "They must demonstrate that they don't just do finance or marketing, but they do get results which benefit the employer."

    If you're not sure of your specific accomplishments, think of a few strengths, suggests Teri Johnson, a business and executive coach with Personal Best Partners. "Define your top five strengths, those things you naturally do well and enjoy doing across job titles and descriptions, then recall anecdotes from your career history that illustrate those strengths," she says. "Perhaps you are amazing at building relationships and community. It doesn't matter what position you were playing, that is something you naturally did everywhere you landed."

    Considering your transferable skill-set is critical when you want to change careers. "You have to think about everything you know and can do," says Robert Sollars, owner of Today's Training, an Arizona-based workplace consultancy. "If you're a manager at a fast-food place, then those managerial skills are easily transferable to another service-oriented company," Sollars says.

    Five-Minute Add-On: These points can be used in a variety of ways -- as bullet points in your resume, as talking points when you're networking or as a response to a "greatest strengths" question in an interview.

    Secure References

    The last thing you want to fumble for in an interview process is a list of reliable references. Job offers can be held up if a reference doesn't respond, or worse, if they can't remember who you are.

    First things first: You don't want your referrals to be caught off guard if a prospective employer calls them to talk about you. It should be common sense, but take 15 minutes to ask your references if you can list them throughout your job search. "Letting people know beforehand that they might be tapped to provide a reference is an easy, smart task," says Kyra Mancine, a job search strategist and resume writer based in upstate New York.

    This preparation can prevent an embarrassing misstep, like getting your reference's current job title and/or employer wrong, providing the employer with outdated contact information, or having a reference who can't remember who you are when the employer calls them.

    If you do provide their name and contact information, send them a quick note explaining who you think will be reaching out to them and for what type of position. Context is critical -- you want your reference to put you in the best light they can for the specific role you're gunning for.

    Finally, stay on your reference's good side. "Don't forget to always follow up and thank references for offering to vouch for you," Mancine says.

    Five-Minute Add-On: Consider asking your references to write you a recommendation on LinkedIn. The more recommendations, the better!

    Write to Kelly Eggers at

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    An 80-year-old rule preventing hedge funds from mass-marketing their services is on the verge of being scrapped.

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday didn't add any restrictions to a proposal mandated by Congress that would reverse the ban. Supporters of the measure worried that the SEC would attach restrictions to the proposal that could make it difficult for hedge funds to communicate and partner with investors, essentially nullifying the mandate, according to The Wall Street Journal.

    The move isn't expected to do all that much for larger hedge funds, which have little problem reaching rich, easily verifiable investors, but it may help smaller hedge funds that find it difficult to build name recognition, according to the New York Times.

    If hedge funds start marketing hard, they could steal market share from mutual funds, which have historically been free to market their services as they see fit. Critics fear allowing such advertising could encourage investment scams by smaller, lesser-known hedge funds that have plagued the industry for more than a decade.

    On the other hand, the proposal could help level the playing field, giving smaller hedge funds more capital to play with and, in turn, greater reason to add staff.

    The SEC is expected to fast-track the proposal soon after the required 30-day comment period.

    Divorce Finalized (WSJ)

    Mark Adelson, who had been Standard & Poor's chief credit officer, left the firm on Monday, eight months after being demoted to a senior research fellow. Adelson lost his high-profile role following a series of perceived missteps that contributed to losses in business for S&P.

    WellPoint CEO Out (Bloomberg)

    WellPoint chief executive Angela Braly resigned late Tuesday under pressure from investors who are concerned about where the U.S. health insurer is headed. Shares of WellPoint have dipped slightly over the last 12 months; shares of its closest rival, UnitedHealth Group, have risen nearly 20%.

    Avondale Expanding (FIN Alternatives)

    Avondale Partners, a Nashville, Tenn.-based investment bank, hired two new directors, Patrick Davis and David Hale, who will be responsible for the firm's long/short equity hedge fund business.

    This One's On Us (AP)

    If you're under the age of 25 and live in France, the chances are decent that you're unemployed. France's new Socialist president, Francois Hollande, has proposed that the government pay the majority of a young person's salary who remains on a company's payroll for at least a year.

    New Charges (FIN Alternatives)

    Three hedge fund managers charged with insider trading in Dell shares face additional indictments for improperly trading Nvidia stock. The three men – Anthony Chiasson, Jon Horvath and Todd Newman – could still see new indictments tacked on before their October trial, according to prosecutors.

    Looking for a New Project (Bloomberg)

    David Barrett, a veteran Morgan Stanley money raiser who ran the firm's private capital markets business, is leaving the company – and the banking industry – after 22 years.

    Johnson & Johnson (Reuters)

    Abigail Johnson, daughter of Fidelity chairman and chief executive Edward Johnson, has been named president of the Boston firm, setting the stage for what many assume to be a gradual succession plan.

    Cuts Looming (Financial News)

    U.S. investment bank Jefferies may soon cut as many as 15 research and sales employees across its insurance, consumer, technology and health care teams.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Child's Play (BBC)

    According to research, the sight of babies' faces makes people want to act nicer. That, says advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, was the inspiration for spray-painting the faces of infants and toddlers on storefronts in a crime-ridden area of London.

    List of the Day: How to Ruin an Interview

    There are a lot of ways to mess up your chances of landing a job. Here are a couple:

    1. Slouch in your seat.

    2. Click your pen. Constantly.

    3. Show signs of pessimism.


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    For job seekers looking to move up in a sales career, competing with others who have specialty experience (along with stellar sales skills) can be a hurdle.

    Many positions call for specific science or finance expertise in sales experience. But not all sales jobs require applicants with specialized knowledge. Some areas of hospitality, transportation and consumer goods are open to candidates who have a broader sales background. They also provide additional in-house training.

    When searching for a non-specific sales position, prepare for the interview by focusing on transferable skills and weeding out clichés, says Deborah St. James, deputy director of scientific communications at Grifols, a Durham, North Carolina-based biotech firm. Avoid words like "team player", "think outside the box", "at the end of the day," or "win-win," she says. "Focus on specific skills such as the ability to listen actively, write well, present and communicate to a wide variety of audiences, honesty, patience, persistence and a good sense of humor."

    Here are six sales jobs that require little previous experience:

    Luxury Transport

    Total compensation: $70,000 to 90,000

    Breaking into any kind of luxury sales requires a keen understanding of the consumer, but most people are hired without prior specialized experience. Auto sales are known for providing on-the-job training, says St. James, a former sales training manager in various industries. In addition to luxury cars, selling private jets or boats also calls for the ability to connect with VIP customers. The commission structure from selling high-cost vehicles, boats and jets is a perk.

    Real Estate

    Total compensation: $60,000 to $120,000

    As the real estate industry shows signs of a rebound, sales people can find work in various areas of the industry. Think beyond residential real estate when conducting a search, suggests Tom Moore, co-founder of ROCS, an entry-level staffing firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Sales people can work for management companies where professionals are responsible for selling off entire apartment complexes or subdivisions, or specialize in commercial real estate.

    It doesn't pay to be overly pushy, especially in real estate. "Sometimes taking the no pressure approach to sales can be very effective," says Moore. While a state-issued license is required, it's possible to break in without any prior experience, according to the National Association of Realtors.


    Total compensation: $50,000 to $60,000

    If you're eager to break into the food industry with some sales experience under your belt, catering sales can be a good start. Since 2009, the catering industry has increased at about 10% each year with revenues over $14 billion. Whether working for hotels, caterers or restaurants to sell and promote large events, there's plenty of work for those eager deal with demanding clients.

    Like other areas of sales, it requires resilience says Chris Carlson, president of Sales Talent Inc., a sales recruiting firm outside of Seattle. "The ability to quickly recover from defeats, learn from them and get back to work is important and can be cultivated," he says.

    Corporate Insurance Sales

    Total compensation: $90,000 to $120,000

    When it comes to B2B insurance sales, eager candidates can jump in without too much industry expertise, says Carlson. For newbies, corporate insurance sales can help propel a business career or facilitate a move into other areas of corporate sales.

    These days, agents and other sales pros need to do more with a dwindling budget. "Having the skills to be able to come up with creative or unique solutions to get your message in front of the customer on a little to nothing budgets can go along way to get a sales job," Moore says.

    Nonprofit Memberships

    Total compensation: $30,000 to $50,000

    Whether it's the local chamber of commerce, a museum or theater, finding members who are willing to donate in order to become members is often the core part of a nonprofit's mission. Because donations are a main source of funding, many nonprofits employ knowledgeable sales people even during tough economic times. Persistency trumps prior expertise.

    "These roles involve a lot of cold calling and phone time so candidates should ask themselves: Can I handle making 100 calls a day?" says Frank Belzer, vice president of corporate development at Kurlan and Associates, Westborough, Mass.-based sales training firm. Membership sales are also a great way to break into the nonprofit industry since most employees with a sales background must multitask and take on additional functions.

    Office Equipment

    Total compensation: $60,000 to $80,000

    An office equipment sales role allows many to break in to the industry and wholesalers are constantly looking for new talent, Belzer says. Sales consultants need to understand the unique needs of each business – it's no longer about copier sales but striving to meet the innovative technology needs which includes both digital and more traditional solutions.

    While prior experience isn't required, reps need know-how of navigating corporate bureaucracy with ease. Additionally, it's important to avoid pushiness when it comes time to make the investment. "You have to show that you care for the customer and you actually are looking out for them," says Moore.

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    A quick examination of any job board will highlight one evident truth: Hiring in the financial sector has slowed to a near crawl. One exception is in the mortgage industry, where banks such as Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank have been adding to their head count to process the recent flood of refinancing requests.

    Citigroup has hired several thousand people in its mortgage business this year and said it anticipates continued growth into a more normalized market when interest rates return to prerecession levels, said Mark Rodgers, director of public affairs at Citi. The New York-based bank has been opening new retail branch locations and has hired roughly 130 home loan specialists this year, Rodgers said.

    Wells Fargo has doubled to 1,200 the number of team members charged with supporting the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), which enables homeowners suffering from dwindling real estate prices to refinance their homes, said Tom Goyda, a Wells Fargo spokesman. The firm recently opened an underwriting center in Jacksonville, Fla., to support HARP.

    "When rates drop, we add more team members and expand our office space to handle the increase in consumer demand," Goyda said.

    When rates drop, we add team members

    Fifth Third Mortgage Company, a subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank, has been adding staff in the loan processing and sales areas over the last year. The Cincinnati bank is recruiting experienced mortgage loan originators, underwriters, processors, closers and mortgage management professionals, said Janet Brinkman, vice president and recruiting manager at Fifth Third.

    Quicken Loans, an Internet-based mortgage house, has hired an average of 120 mortgage brokers per month in 2012, said Michelle Salvatore, director of recruiting.

    Mountains of Red Tape

    The recent uptick in mortgage hiring is a direct result of low interest rates, more home purchases and the mountains of red tape born from the 2008 mortgage crisis.

    Even the simplest refinances for affluent and responsible homeowners require months of appraisals, exhaustive credit checks and supplementary paperwork, forcing banks to hire additional workers, said Frank Donnelly, president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and a certified financial planner.

    While the new regulations have added jobs, they have also created a few unintended consequences that are affecting mortgage workers and the industry in general.

    Mortgage employees work long hours and often get burnt out from dealing with the sheer amount of paperwork, said Donnelly. Strict regulations also add additional pressure to loan originators and underwriters, who are monitored internally and by state and federal regulators.

    "If you aren't operating at top efficiency, you get dinged," said Paul Hindman, managing director at Management Advisors Executive Search, a Raleigh-Durham, N.C.-based recruiting firm specializing in the financial services industry. "Any little mistake goes on your permanent record. Employees are working 60 to 80 hours a week to deliver quality."

    The emphasis on compliance and transparency is greater than ever before, said Craig Paris, assistant vice president at Eastern Bank Advantage Mortgage Group. Complying with new regulations is particularly time-consuming for underwriters, who now need to manually work through each and every aspect of a loan to determine its accuracy.

    Higher Turnover

    The end result is that many mortgage workers are quitting their jobs to take similar positions at rival firms, assuming the grass is greener, Paris said.

    "There is a lot of hiring going on but much of it is turnover-based," said Hindman, who questions whether mortgage companies are making net gains or just backfilling positions to compensate for turnover. "We are looking to hire three underwriters because we're losing four," Paris said.

    The mortgage industry added a net 10,000 employees between May and June, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, citing information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry added just 1,300 jobs in the first four months of the year, suffering losses in both January and April. Excluding June, when the mortgage industry added nearly 8,000 jobs, total head count has remained relatively unchanged over the last year.

    The spike in June suggests that if home sales continue to recover, so should mortgage hiring. The overall number of people handling mortgages is relatively low given the demand, said Mike Montgomery, a senior economist with IHS Global Insight. "If you put yourself in the position of a mortgage broker, it is probably 'safe' to pick up hiring after a very lousy period," he said.

    Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third and Quicken Loans didn't comment on the percentage of 2012 hires that were backfills, but did say they have made net gains during the first half of the year.

    The mortgage crash has also resulted in a lack of fresh talent in the industry, hence the talent poaching and long hours for mortgage workers. Many new hires lost their jobs in 2008 and, with the uncertainty of the housing market, most freshly minted college grads are leery about getting into the mortgage industry, said Donnelly, who estimates the average age of mortgage employees to be around 50.

    Hesitant to Train

    This trend is exacerbated by the fact that mortgage houses can't afford to train and bring on new talent, due to the sheer complexity of the job, Donnelly said. And with all the talent poaching, companies are hesitant to train inexperienced employees knowing that they may be investing resources for the benefit of close rivals, said Pat Sherlock, president of QFS Sales Solutions, a financial sales consultancy firm.

    "Companies are more exposed, and they just can't take risks on people," said Sherlock.

    Quicken Loans operates an internship program with hope of encouraging interns to come back to the company on a professional basis, Salvatore said. Several of Sherlock's banking clients are in the process of designing programs to bring in fresh talent.

    Interest Rate Uncertainty

    Should interest rates begin to rise again, the need for additional hires would probably slow. But this isn't all bad news for talented professionals, particularly loan originators, said Sherlock.

    Mortgage houses will need better salespeople when interest rates rise and the refinancing market cools, she said. Unlike refinancings, new loans are more scrutinized and require smarter and more aggressive salespeople, who in turn can take advantage of the higher margins associated with new business, Sherlock said. Banks will also be more willing to train less experienced but more talented salespeople as the housing market continues to stabilize.

    Average home prices increased in June for the first time since 2010, suggesting the market is finally moving in the right direction. The June hiring spike is in part due to "suspicion the recovery in home sales is for real now," Montgomery said.

    Now if the mortgage industry can just find enough qualified people to make those loans.

    Write to Beecher Tuttle at

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    Seeking to repair its damaged image, Barclays on Thursday appointed Antony Jenkins, the head of its retail and business banking division, as chief executive. Jenkins, a Brit, replaces disgraced CEO Bob Diamond, an American banker who fell on his sword in June during the fallout from the Libor rate-fixing scandal.

    The appointment of Jenkins suggests that Barclays may be considering a dramatic change in strategy. Under Diamond, Barclays scaled its highly profitable, yet risky investment banking business, a sector in which Jenkins has no experience.

    Jenkins reiterated Barclays' commitment to its universal-banking model, and said that Rich Ricci, the head of the firm's investment bank groomed under Diamond, would remain in his role, according to The Wall Street Journal. But it's fair to question whether Jenkins' appointment will coincide with Barclays returning its focus to the safer world of retail banking, a move that would most likely appease U.K. regulators. Many believe Barclays' i-banking focus heavily contributed to its lax regulatory culture.

    While investment banking head count has plummeted over the last year, Barclays has been relatively immune to economic pressures, despite the rate fixing scandal and a separate criminal investigation into payments made between Barclays and Qatar Holding.

    I-Banking head count at the world's largest banks fell nearly 6% from June 2011 through June 2012. Barclays, meanwhile, lost just 1.3% of its investment banking staff during the period, dropping from roughly 23,600 to 23,300, according Financial News.

    One thing we know for sure: Barclays will undoubtedly dial back bonuses and gaudy executive salaries with Jenkins and incoming chairman David Walker, a former U.K. treasury official, at the helm.

    Readers: We're taking a small hiatus to give Morning Coffee a fresh look. We'll resume distribution on September 17th, brought to you by eFinancialCareers. In the meantime, check out a few of our greatest hits.

    Ten Dumb Things Said During Job Interviews

    Eloquence in an Interview Is Better Than Accuracy

    The Ten Worst Things to Put on Your Resume

    Foot in the Door: The Finance Resume

    Mortgage Hiring Spike (FINS)

    Near record-low interest rates and the myriad of regulations born from the 2008 housing crisis have reinvigorated hiring in the mortgage industry. The jobs are there if you have the experience.

    NFA Probe (WSJ)

    The National Futures Association has ordered an external review of its operations following the collapse of Peregrine Financial Group, a futures and currency brokerage firm that the NFA was charged with regulating. The industry group is also reportedly considering withholding some staff bonuses.

    We Have a Pulse (NY Times)

    The U.S. economy grew by 1.7% in the second quarter, beating a Commerce Department estimate of 1.5% but falling short of the Q1 growth numbers. In short, we're moving forward…very slowly.

    Compliance Jobs Growing (Bloomberg)

    With traditional banking jobs hard to find, out-of-work executives have begun exploring opportunities in compliance, a sector that has grown since the implementation of the Dodd-Frank law.

    Arms Race (WSJ)

    The competition amongst New York's myriad of regulators and prosecutors has heated up over the last year with creation of the new State Department of Financial Services. Regulators are fighting for headlines, and it's led to an "arms race of prosecution" in the financial sector.

    Citi Settles (Bloomberg)

    In a not-so-quiet reminder that the fallout from the financial crisis is far from settled, Citigroup on Wednesday agreed to fork over $590 million to settle an investor lawsuit claiming the bank purposely concealed ties to risky investments.

    Call it a Comeback (Financial News)

    Kai Sotorp, the former head of UBS's Asia Pacific arm credited with helping to turn around the firm's Japanese business in the early 2000s, is back with UBS in the same capacity.

    Buzz Around the Office

    Not Gonna Do It (MSN)

    Not often do you see a former U.S. president do an impersonation on camera. Even less often do you see one impersonate an actor. And never has a president impersonated an actor impersonating himself…until now.

    List of the Day: Advancing at a Small Firm

    Moving up the ranks at a small firm can be difficult. Here's how to pull it off.

    1. If you aren't given new responsibilities, create them for yourself.

    2. Build a career plan and discuss it with your boss.

    3. Find a mentor.

    (Source: The Daily Muse)