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Insights On The Public Finance Industry (From An Executive Recruiter)

The typical information I usually write about is the hiring practices and process for both candidates and hiring managers. Generally, I will give suggestions and ideas on how best to navigate the public finance employment path. However, today will be slightly different as I share what I believe are public...

Are You A Firm That Values These 4 Themes?

I recently had a phone call with the Head of Capital Markets, and he asked me a specific question. That question was the following: Why are so many people in this strange environment that we find ourselves interested in making a move? Particularly more so than many other years past....

What Will Your Career Look Like In 2021?

Is it too early to start planning for your career path in 2021? Recently I’ve discussed client firms that are entering into formal agreements in 2020 with start dates in 2021. What happens if you are not engaged as of now? Is it too late to start the process? With...

It’s Down To The Wire – When Do I Actually Move?

It is time to address when the right time to move is. We're not going to look at if it's the right time to move or if it's the right company to make a move to; incidentally, we're going to assume that all of those concerns and questions are already...

Do You Know Your Contractual Obligations?

Today I will start by making a clear statement: I am not offering legal assistance since I am not a practicing attorney. I am only sharing ideas and situations that I have come across as a recruiter over the last 10 years. In previous articles we've addressed the issue of...

Thinking About Leaving The Finance Industry: Your Skillset & Options

Are public finance jobs for you? Yes or no? Now or later? I am not sure if it is because of the pandemic or people's lack of faith in the markets, but I get numerous phone calls from prospective candidates that are seriously considering leaving the public finance space. Let...

Is Fear Of The Unknown Crushing Your Public Finance Career?

Complacency can prevent you from making the next exciting and right move in your career.  Too many good bankers, bond counsels and those with public finance careers remain at their old firm for one reason. That one reason being they will not leave their old firm behind, even if it...

Whose “Right Time” Is It When You Make A Move?

My intent with these weekly writings is to share with you real experiences that other candidates and hiring managers are dealing with on a regular basis. Today's discussion relates to a conversation that I recently had with a candidate who will most likely be making a move by the end...

The Cost Of Working With An Executive Recruiter

“Is working with a recruiter going to affect my likelihood of getting hired?” This is a question I am asked often. I have also been asked, “Does working with a recruiter cost me any money?” Lastly, I have been asked, “Will working with a recruiter hurt my chances of getting...

How To Create A Realistic Business Plan In COVID-19

The key ingredient to get hired these days as a producing banker or public finance attorney is your business plan.  What are you going to do to grow your practice? How will you generate significant revenue to your new employer? Under normal circumstances these are rather easy questions to answer....

Your COVID-19 Compensation Model

As we continue to get our hands around COVID-19 as it relates to hiring, I want to discuss the compensation model and compensation in general. COVID-19 has caused a rise of angst throughout our entire community; however, it really has not caused a major disruption when it comes to compensation....

Can FOMO In Public Finance Professionals Exist?

Due to this pandemic I have my intelligent daughter across the hall to me.  Not something I had ever contemplated upon her completion of business school at a top university, but I digress. I am still a proud father.  As I read an article the other morning, there was the...

You Made The Wrong Move, Now What?

Recently, we've looked at the questions you should ask yourself and questions for your potential employer. Let’s say that you’ve finally made the decision to make the move; and sooner rather than later, you realized, “I made a mistake!” Maybe the firm that you thought hired you is not the...

15 Key Interview Questions To Ask Prospective Employers

We have addressed the important questions you need to ask yourself in preparation for an initial interview in a previous blog.  Now I want to address the questions that you should be prepared to ask your prospective employer to determine if this is the right place for you. If you’ve...

15 Questions For Your Initial Interview Preparation

After determining that there are definite positions in both public finance and the bond counsel world, we need to address the interview itself. Going a step further, let’s specifically look into the initial interview preparation. Most candidates that we have the pleasure of working with usually interview every five to...

5 Questions To Find The Best Recruiter For You

It still is a really good time to make a move if you have the requisite qualifications as enunciated over the last couple weeks. Now what do you do when you speak to a recruiter in finance?  First, congratulations on making that first important step. Either you were fortunate enough...

Reluctance Can Harm Your Future

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen a new trend, which I am frankly concerned to address.  Members of the public finance industry are getting more reluctant to have conversations regarding their career objectives and paths.  The calls we are having with candidates are from those who have...

The Future With COVID-19, Our Industry & You

Today's format is going to be different in comparison to my typical three to five paragraphs of insight. I have been pondering the questions that I have been asked over the last three months. Most of them come down to one or two ideas. First thought boils down to the...

An Open Letter To Hiring Managers About Our Forgotten Grads

Are you a recent college graduate? Do you have a recent college grad at home? As we lament about our missed sports seasons, read about our shortened MLB and NBA seasons, watch events with no spectators in the stands; we are completely forgetting about the missed opportunities for a recent...

Conclude Your Job With This Question

We have previously discussed the new skills that you need to convey while you are being interviewed. Let’s now shift the focus from your external approach to your internal approach. We have all heard a great deal about mindset, and that you need to be in the proper mindset before...

Don’t Sit & Settle. Get Ahead In Your Career!

A word to those in public finance and bond counsel positions: Put aside the COVID-19 dilemma we are all dealing with, and let’s look at what this market truly is like for public finance professionals. As I have mentioned in past blogs, our cottage industry is doing extremely well during...

Do You Have These New Skills?

Firms that are hiring are looking for these new set of skills. Do you have them? Are you ready to acquire them? As the country continues to re-open, I started thinking about how public finance professionals will have to evolve in order to thrive in this new environment.  As I...

Does Your Interview Process Include Reflection?

Like many of us during the last couple of months, we have had more time on our hands than usual. Last week’s blog I talked about reflecting on your current situation regarding the public finance industry. This week I want to reflect on any and all interviews that you may...

Reflecting On Your Present To Find Your Future

How are you feeling about the industry of public finance and/or your current company? The one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has given us is time. Time for us to reflect on what is important in our lives. As it relates to this article, it has also given us time...

Are You Prepared For A Video Interview?

The future of careers in public finance rely on video interviews. Can you get hired strictly by a video interview? This is a question I pondered, and the answer is yes. Recently, I had a candidate, who never had a face-to-face visit with the company or the hiring manager, get...

Public Finance Jobs & COVID-19

It has been almost a month since I have written my investment banking recruiting article, which was a deliberate hiatus on my part. First and foremost, I felt that more relevant information needed to hit your inboxes, Facebook pages, groups, and other social media outlets.  Unlike many recruiters I did...

Free Book on SBA Loan Approval Process

As many of you are aware I postponed my normal posts for a couple of weeks to let the more timely posts get your attention, I will begin next week on Thursday to resume my career transition blogs again. However, what many of you are not aware of is that...

The Price Of Being Indecisive

At one point I was going to write about the virus and how it is affecting the hiring markets, hiring managers, and candidates. Gears shifted, and I thought I should write about the markets in general and the effects on the hiring process. Then I considered just sitting back and...

It’s Possible: Move Your Team Together

Teams in 2020 are in vogue again. Financial firms want to acquire teams. It’s time to address the entire logistics of a team move.  In the past there are two schools of thought when it comes to moving a team or practice group. First, it is much more difficult to...

After You Sign, Before You Resign

Today’s blog is going to be different indeed. I am going to discuss an area that is not typically talked about in debt capital markets, bond counsel or public finance. It is, however, one that needs to be addressed. It’s the interim period between signing an offer and resigning. Congratulations!...

It’s A Win-Win-Win With A Third Party

Whether it’s a professional recruiter or someone that can represent your interests to both parties and manage the process, a third party in the recruitment process is instrumental. As mentioned in previous blogs, communication is key.  From tax exempt finance experts to entry level positions, you must be capable in...

Don’t Play The Game Where Everyone Loses

Five years ago I wrote a piece on the lack of communication between two important parties. Truthfully, I was bothered by the content. Today I choose to revisit it with five more years of public finance and bond counsel recruiting experience under my belt.  Hopefully I am wiser and can...

Empathy Infuses Work Culture & The Hiring Process

Empathy is an interesting word. It’s not a word you’d think to use in reference to capital markets recruiting or anything else related to public finance. Should it be though? What exactly does it mean? By definition, it means “to feel what someone else is feeling or concerned about.” I...

How Useful A Recruiter Is For All

Three years ago, I wrote a blog about answering the question, “Why do I need a recruiter?” The most popular response then was: “I don’t need a recruiter. I know everyone.” Do you know who says this? Both the client companies that we are privileged enough to represent and the...

Can and Should You Move Your Business?

As 2020 is underway, movement is a foot. This blog is going to address who can successfully make a move, not necessarily who wants to make a move.  “The grass is always greener on the other side,” still seems to be a philosophy that many people are holding onto strongly. ...

Don’t Let Emotions Get The Best Of Your Move

First, may I wish each of you a very Happy and Healthy New Years! I apologize for missing the first blog of the year. While on vacation, I got that dreaded text saying, “Call home.”  My dad of 92, who is very healthy, was taken into the hospital because he...

My Secret Sauce For 2020

As we enter the new year of 2020, I want to thank each and every one of you that have faithfully read my blogs every Thursday.  Why every Thursday? I had an old (and I mean an older gentleman) that I knew, and every Thursday he would send me a...

This Investment Banking Recruiter Needs Feedback

For this week's blog, I am asking a favor: Would you please respond with the answers to the following questions? This way I can determine if, as an author and investment banking recruiter, I am getting my message across correctly.  I have had the privilege of writing Investment Banking Recruiter...

Hiring Firms Expectations & Offer Timelines

In previous blogs, I have addressed the idea of "Radio Silence" or others may call it patience. Radio silence is the time that passes when you are waiting to see if a firm is going to want to move forward. But today, I want to address patience as to waiting...

The Hiring Process In The New Decade

I do not know about you, but a new decade is both nerve racking and exciting. In the world of getting hired, the game has changed drastically over the last decade or so. We are going to explore these changes. More importantly, what these changes mean to you, the candidate,...

Key Players For Your Next Move

Who is on your team? Sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? However, there is a significant dialogue hidden in this question. Capital markets recruiters or any recruiters in the financial industry will recommend that you know your team. Knowing who is on your team is a critical element to...

2 Critical Items To Conclude Your Interview Process

Today I want to share, in my experience of executive recruitment and more, two of the most important things you can do after your interview has ended.  Both will be elaborated on in this blog.  Even when you read these two things, you may say, “I know that already.” But...

A Realistic Business Plan Goes A Long Way

In a previous article discussing what was so special about $800,000, many of my readers enjoyed and commented on extensively.  I want to pick up on the main premise of that article, which was talking about the importance of a good business plan.  This is what I believe to be...

The Big Picture: Choosing The Right Firm

“A new focus to my 2015 blog,” was a slogan that was bantered about in the early stages of the PC wars. Managers were so afraid to make a purchasing recommendation, other than IBM, that they missed out on some great technological advances. More importantly, great deals on new innovative...

The Reality of the Beloved $800,000 Projection

What’s so special about $800,000? It appears that whether you're a bond counsel, public finance banker or even a series 7 financial wealth advisor; the requested amount of business the firm wants or expects you to move is $800,000. It does not matter if it's a bulge bracket, a super-regional,...

Should You Stay Or Should You Go?

"STAY!" That’s right, you read it correctly: stay. A word that most finance recruiters do not use in their normal vocabulary. I am not saying I am the only recruiter that recommends this, but I truly believe that most finance recruiters do not recommend this option enough. Why? Recruiters are...

How To Handle Background Checks

In previous blogs, I’ve talked about time killing deals. As a public finance and bond counsel recruiter, I want to address the very serious issue of background checks.  As we are in a fiduciary relationship with our issuers, whether we are public finance bankers or bond counsels, we can be...

The Walls Have Eyes – With Or Without Staffing and Recruiting

Today's blog is going to be more instructional than most.  This is not meant as a catalyst for companies to let people go prematurely, but as a precautionary message to all job seekers with or without staffing and recruiting on their side.  There seems to be a growing trend that...

Can Time Kill ALL Deals: What To Know About The Candidate-Driven Market

In a candidate-driven market, time can still kill deals. What do I mean by candidate-driven market? Simply that candidates have multiple options when choosing their next firm. I have seen more candidates change their mind about what firm they want to go to as time goes by. The firms that...

Is The Business Fun Anymore?

One of the most prevalent questions I receive from both the Public Finance Bankers, Institutional Sales and Bond Counsels is, “Is it time to look outside of our industry?”   Followed by, “Can I go to the buy side?” Or if more appropriate to your particular expertise, “Can I go...

A Word To Those In Bond Counsel & Public Finance

As a Capital Markets recruiter exclusively for almost ten years, I am asking you to read this blog carefully. Share it with your associates on both the Public Finance as well as the Bond Counsel business. As many of you know, I had stopped writing my blog on a regular...

Keep Your Head In The Game Even After Your Interview Ends

Your interview is completed, and you asked your closing two or three questions. What’s next? The first thing you do when you leave the interview is relocate to a place where you can sit and think about the interview.  While thinking about the interview, start to write down notes of...

Finish Your Interview With Hiring Managers On The Right Foot

We are continuing with our current theme: getting you a new position!  Today we talk about the interview. Everyone knows about the interview and the questions that are usually asked.  If you do not, you should Google popular interview questions and likely responses. I am not going to address that...

Your Resume Format Could Score You An Interview

Is there a way of changing the mindset of a hiring manager when he views your resume, and he sees some of the issues we broached in last week’s blog? The answer is yes, and it all comes down to the resume format you choose.  There are various formats to...

How Hiring Managers View A Resume

I do not pretend to be an expert in this field, but what follows below are consistent observations that hiring managers share with me when they view a candidate I am working with.  While some of these flaws are not correctable, others are. These apply both to Investment Banking Firms...

You Don’t Have To Move!

Most calls from a recruiter to a prospective candidate all end the same way, “I am happy and do not want to make a move.” My retort always being, “Would you be open to hearing about other opportunities?” And let’s not even think about you making a move as it...

The Future of the Public Finance Industry

Every day I am asked the same question, “What do you see as the future for our industry?”  My answer is always the same, “We are not seeing a consolidation of the industry, we are seeing a changing of the seats.”  In my opinion, that in a nutshell, is what...

The Next Step: Letter of Resignation

Last week’s post got over 6,000 views, why is that? The obvious reason is that the post hit home with so many of you. Now that we have determined you should not quit without having a new position, what is the best way to resign? There are two thoughts: one...

“I’ve decided to move… without executive recruiting”

First of all, congratulations for coming to a dramatic decision. The hardest part is now over! Once you have mentally come to the conclusion it’s time to move, this needs to become your predominant thought for 2019. You now need to determine if you are going to work with professional...

You Can Say Too Little – It’s Time To Build Rapport

Even though they don’t admit it, the inability to build rapport is the number one cause why someone is not going to be offered a position. Our world of Public Finance and Investment Banking is so small that you will be working very closely with the managers and/or practice chairs...

Baby Steps – Don’t JUST Move To Another Company

Making any sort of change in one’s life is always painful. Whether it’s painful leaving the past behind, or it’s the pain of predicting the future. Nowhere is it more painful than when someone is deciding on a change in their economic future. Well, maybe “painful” is not the right...

It’s not just about the better compensation package!

This week I want to share a story with you about a candidate that has been seeking our advice about his transition plans. He is currently employed, but not as happy as he would like to be. His main complaints are that he is not getting paid what he’s worth,...

Investment Banking Recruiters Got You Down?

Preconceived notions, self-fulfilling prophecies, whatever you may want to call it, is the antithesis of open-mindedness. Either way, it may be holding you back from your next great opportunity. As Investment Bankers, and yes I include myself in that group, we are very aware of what our competition may be...

Counter Offers – Be Prepared

Open Letter to “All Hiring Managers and Candidates” A new Trend is emerging… As most of my regular readers know, I only write when I have something to say, and today more than ever there is a new trend that is increasing every day, the Counter Offer. Now I may...

Talk To Someone About Your Compensation Package

The title might sound innocuous: “Who do I talk to?” and “Why do I need to talk to them?” The reason is that misconceptions are tangential to bonus season. With the payment of bonuses comes the inevitable thought – “I am not getting paid what I am worth”, or “I...

What are these hiring practices? It’s been months.

It appears that this year has definitely been one of transitions for many people throughout our industry; with firms opening offices and at the same time closing offices. Certain firms, as you are aware, have completely vacated the space, like Lebenthal. While others, such as Stifel, continue to acquire firms...

Financial Firms – Do I Really Need A Recruiter?

The topic may sound a little strange, but with the wake of what has been happening in our marketplace over the last couple of months, this is a question that is continuing to come up. Let me be more specific: employees of financial firms that have changed their public finance...

Are there any JOBS out there for bankers & more?

As we say goodbye to the month of January and I look at my forward calendar – I am amazed at the response to a very specific mailing we just concluded. This was mail to individuals who over the last five years have taken an interview. I expected about a...

An Offer With No Executive Recruiter, What Now?

If you have been working with an Executive Recruiter, the answer should be, “Great, when do I start?” The reason this is so simply answered is when you have representation, you should not be receiving an offer until two things have occurred: 1. You are ready to receive it and...

Opportunities For Public Finance Bankers & More

January is now upon us, and as we reflect back on Public Finance in 2017, we saw lots of changes; which caused upheaval in the bond markets, as well as in the hiring of professional Bankers and Bond Counsels. UBS re-entering the market place certainly was the talk of the...

Your Reputation – The Hiring Firm Wants To Know.

The title of this blog may sound almost too elementary, but there is a growing shift in attitude by a hiring firm or two that I want to address.  External third-party reference checking is out. Now I am sure I have your attention. The growing trend is that hiring firms...

“I’m Not Good At Interviewing …”

Not everyone is good at interviewing. For some people, interviewing is a stressful situation. For others, it’s a walk in the park. No matter who you are, if you are serious about the firm that you are interviewing with there should be some butterflies in your stomach. But as a...

You Can Say Too Much

The next couple of blogs are going to be less philosophical and much more pragmatic. Starting with today’s, it seems that people are taking the interview process much less serious than it is. I am seeing and hearing feedback from hiring managers that candidates are either not as prepared as...

Preparing to Resign? Been There, Done That!

An open letter to every candidate that ever thought about making a move in his or her career and preparing to resign: I know I just did it after almost eight years with the same firm. So if you read my Linked In announcement yesterday you are aware that I...

When the recruiter calls …

Well it happened again. This time it was one of the major bracket firms, who just walked in and let a group of bankers go, with no advance warning. So what do you do when the recruiter calls? The answer is simple: take the call! They would not be calling...

Don’t ever quit till you have a new job!

Today I am going to get away from helping you get a new position, but to address a growing phenomenon. People are leaving their current position before getting a signed job offer for a new firm, or taking time off before looking for a new position. I cannot be clearer...

Open Letter to All Public Finance Professionals

“Career Suicide”, an over-used term I have heard in the past; it generally means that you have either made too many changes and/or joined multiple firms in your career, or you started and left a firm within a short period of time.

Counter Offers – Be Prepared

So if you are the “star,” you are very much in control for now. But if you are the one wanting to make a move, be prepared for your home team not to give up without a fight.