Morning Coffee Nov 11 2011

Firms Eager to Hire Veterans

By julie steinberg

Possibly one of the most sobering images of war is seeing veterans begging on the subway after they come home.

The national unemployment rate among post 9/11-veterans is 11.5% and much higher in some states – 15.2% in New York and 29.4% in Michigan.

Hoping to tap into military members' propensity for teamwork and leadership, finance firms are stepping up their efforts to attract top talent.

"People come out of the armed services with an enormous variety of skills, from leadership training to cybersecurity to finance," Jeff Cathey, head of military banking at Bank of America, told Fortune. "They have an amazing work ethic, so they tend to thrive in a pay-for-performance environment. You can't overtask them."

In an internal memo sent around Citigroup yesterday and reviewed by FINS, chief executive Vikram Pandit said the firm has hired nearly 300 veterans in the past three months, in addition to the 150 it hired earlier this year. 'We have an ongoing effort to increase that number," Pandit wrote.

Citi, along with four other big banks, is part of Veterans on Wall Street, an organization devoted to providing finance opportunities for former servicemembers. JPMorgan is hosting a jobs fair in Tempe, Arizona, to hire 310 mortgage professionals. It's open to all job applicants, but the firm especially hopes to hire veterans.

Evidence to the Contrary (Financial News)

Even though banks said they're planning to lay off thousands, so far many of the cuts have yet to materialize in their third quarter earnings statements. That may be due to seasonal hiring of graduates and because staff that's been laid off will stay on the books for months.

Ramping Up (Deal Journal)

Cantor Fitzgerald is hoping to capitalize on the dislocation of, well, just about everybody in the finance industry. It wants to add a few hundred more employees.

Stepping Down (Bloomberg)

Mark Ellman, a vice chairman in the financial institutions group at Bank of America, will retire next month, a person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. Ellman has spent almost 30 years advising insurers and other financial firms. He joined Merrill Lynch in 2008 before it was taken over by BofA.

Scooping Up (MarketWatch via BusinessWire)

Gleacher & Co's broker-dealer has brought on a raft of Citadel employees to boost its sales and trading team. The recruits will be based in New York City.

Best Friends No More (WSJ)

What could come between two buddies (Jon Corzine and J. Christopher Flowers) who worked together at Goldman Sachs, then supported each other's careers? Maybe if one ran his business into the ground and the other lost $50 million as a result. Yeah, that could do it.

Scaling Down? (WSJ)

Former Citigroup Chief Executive Sandy Weill is selling his Central Park penthouse for a cool $88 million because his family is "downsizing a little bit." Former finance chiefs, they're just like us!

Predicting the Future (Here is the City)

Here's one animated version of a potential bonus review meeting to take place later this year.

Buzz Around the Office

Kitchen Counter Adventure (YouTube)

Run fingers, run!

List of the Day: Getting Your Emails Read

Do you find that your well-crafted, lengthy emails never get a response from clients or colleagues? Here's how to ensure you'll get a response back.

1. Keep it short. Restrict it to the subject line, even.

2. Never fight by email. You don't want a paper trail.

3. Think of email as a tool for transactions and logistics, not long communication.

(Source: SalesMACHINE)

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