US investment bank Morgan Stanley plans to increase its hiring of MBA students, reversing a trend among large lenders to snap up undergraduate analysts over more experienced associates.
Elle Connor, who recruits MBAs for the bank’s London investment banking division, said: “We’re definitely looking to grow our MBA profile.”
Speaking to BusinessBecause, she said that Morgan Stanley wants to “continue to grow our MBA hiring on the floor” to even out the split of analysts and associates: “We’re looking to grow our class.”
Most investment banks have cut back on MBA hiring and instead hired swathes of junior analysts.
Mark Davies, employer relations manager at Imperial College Business School, said: “The trend in the industry has for some time now been a shift away from hiring MBAs into investment banking.”
But Elle said: “We want more of a split of MBAs rather than promoted analysts. I think the split is heavier on the promoted analyst side. We’ll look to balance that out with MBA hiring.”
The Wall Street lender, whose investment banking division swung to a near 7% revenue increase in 2015, targets IESE Business School, INSEAD, and London Business School.
But it hires from a range of US MBA programs in New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, as well as on the west coast.
Investment bank recruitment tends to ebb and flow with the flow of deals. Despite recent turmoil in financial markets, 2015 was the biggest year ever for M&A, according to Dealogic.
Christian Dummett, head of finance careers at London Business School, said: “Banking recruitment is very strong. The key driver is a marked increase in M&A activity globally.”
Morgan Stanley’s Elle highlighted technology — global tech M&A is up 53% so far in 2016 compared with last year. “It’s a sexy business right now,” said Deirdre O’Donnell, associate careers director at Tuck School of Business. “They [MBAs] all want to work on the next Facebook.”
Morgan Stanley joins a number of bulge-bracket US banks hiring more MBAs, as Wall Street investment banks pull away from their European peers. “In New York, the banks have come back,” said Roxanne Hori, associate dean of career services at NYU Stern.
Regina Resnick, associate dean for careers at New York’s Columbia Business School, said: “With the rebounding of the overall economy and a strong IPO market, firms are hiring again in greater numbers.”