Cyber Security Breaches Lead To Slowed Hiring For J.P. Morgan

J.P. MorganBrokerdealer.com blog update courtesy efinacialcareers’ “Morning Coffee”.

Brokerdealer.com profiled earlier in February the uptick in PE firms hiring younger bankers however, other Wall Street businesses are easing up on hiring bankers and looking for more cybersecurity employees after recent breaches.

Much of the hiring that takes place on Wall Street is, unfortunately, reactive. Junior bankers are replacing pricey seniors while sell-side firms are backfilling seats left vacant by staffers who are jumping to the buy-side. And then of course there is headline chasing, when banks load up on compliance, risk and cyber security pros after news of a big scandal breaks.

And that’s not to say it’s a PR move. When J.P. Morgan discovered a massive breach to its internal network last June, one that reportedly had ties to Russia, it pulled out all the stops to improve its defenses to mitigate against a repeat occurrence. Apparently grown frustrated with a lack of help from the U.S. government, the bank has reportedly been recruiting defense contractors and people with military backgrounds, according to¬†Bloomberg.

J.P. Morgan has already grown headcount within its digital security staff to 1,000, more than double the size of Google’s security group, according to the report. The bank has even built a security services facility in the backyard of the National Security Agency, making it easier to recruit talented defense pros. From the sounds of it, J.P. Morgan has essentially built itself a mini defense agency.

Meanwhile, hiring continues to slow in the front office. Headcount at the 10 biggest investment banks on Wall Street fell for the fourth year in a row in 2014, down 4% to 51,600,according to a new report. Fixed income units took the brunt of the punishment, with banks cutting nearly 10% of front office FICC employees during the year.

Despite a revival in dealmaking, investment banking divisions cut their staff by 1% year-over-year. And that’s with revenue up 6% compared to 2013. With greater needs in the back and middle offices, banks are trying to do more with less when it comes to revenue generators.

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