Morgan Stanley, VTB and Citi make Brexit threats
Morgan Stanley, VTB and Citi make Brexit threats
Anastasia Moroz

Anastasia Moroz

Staff writer and journalist at
Anastasia is a staff journalist and editor at Finbuzz covering finance, banking and technology.
Anastasia Moroz

Morgan Stanley, Citi and major Russian bank VTB have made a loud statement about moving their personnel out of London, while recruiters tap into jostling for the position of M&A boutiques in Frankfurt.

Robert Rooney, Morgan Stanley International CEO, told a conference that without a “stable and long-term assured commitment that we would have access to the single market” then Morgan Stanley will indisputably “have to do a lot of things that we do today from London somewhere inside the EU 27.”

Citi’s UK head James Bardrick made an announcement saying that the bank might begin relocating its personnel in 2017.

While VTB and Morgan Stanley and VTB are open about their intention to sever ties with London, recruiters call attention to U.S. M&A boutiques pinpointing that the ones have been silently creating a powerful presence in Frankfurt for over a year.

Raymond James, Evercore and Houlihan Lokey have all relocated to establish a steady position in Germany.

In May 2015, Evercore acquired German boutique Kuna & Co. and 10 advisory agents alongside. Houlihan Lokey followed Evercore’s steps six month later making an acquisition of the German operations of Italian boutique Leonardo, along with 25 bankers. This June, U.S. boutique Raymond James made an acquisition of Munich-based Mummert & Company Corporate Finance GmbH, plus 20 German M&A bankers in June 2016.

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U.S. boutiques have started to pay sudden interest to Germany despite its 36% decrease in investment banking revenues. Frankfurt recruiters comment on this phenomenon saying that U.S. boutiques are building strong presence on the ground ahead of Brexit, and they are not the only on to do so.

Principal at Dartmouth Partners in Frankfurt Elena Barclay the banks now would give preference to hiring German speaking juniors in Frankfurt than in London: “In the past, they might have hired for sector teams in London. Now it’s much more about basing people in Frankfurt from the outset.”

However, the majority of Frankfurt recruiters are still letting the grass grow under feet waiting to see which turn events will take after Brexit. A Frankfurt-based banking recruiter at Brownian Motion Carola Hansen said there was no hustle about local employing and the majority of banks are as cost constrained in Frankfurt as they are in London.

However, if people will be relocated to Frankfurt, there are candidates to take their places: “We have a lot of potential here,” says Hansen. “There are a lot of talented youngsters and more experienced candidates – there will no problem finding the talent in Frankfurt.”

This is a positive aspect for VTB and Morgan Stanley since they are seeking the alternatives for London City. There were rumours suggesting as a consequence of Brexit Morgan Stanley intended to relocate 2,000 jobs to Frankfurt and Dublin, which the U.S. bank later disaffirmed.

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