BoA Merrill leads corporate banking recruitment revival

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch is expanding its corporate-banking headcount in Japan. The US firm will add 30 staff to its current 70-strong corporate-banking services headcount before the end of 2010, with the new hires including salespeople, sales support and credit specialists, according to The Wall Street Journal.

BoA probably won't be the only firm hiring.

"Hiring demand is recovering along with the rest of the economy, with corporate banks increasing staff in anticipation of service requests from clients, as corporate firms approach their banks again in anticipation of a positive reply to requests for loans and other services," says Pete Millett, director of People Services International.

Millett believes front-office functions, such as sales and sales support, are the top-priority hires. These will be followed by mid and back-office jobs, such as credit and operations, as transaction levels increase in core services like corporate loans issuance and forex hedging.

There has also been an increase in demand in credit risk management in response to more stringent global requirements for credit approval following the GFC, says Kevin Naylor, team manager of the financial services division at Wall Street Associates.

"In addition, we are seeing some of the small to mid-sized banks especially gear up to compete for market share on some of the loans which the bigger and more famous banks cannot or will not accommodate. With this we have seen a modest increase in requirements for relationship managers covering a range of areas," adds Naylor.

These sectors include RE finance, structured finance and trade finance.