FX/EM Market Moves & Commentary 2020

2020 was a year like no other. It would be a challenge to summarize the many ways the Covid19 pandemic impacted all of us, but not everything was bad and there were silver linings. I hope everyone reading this report is staying safe and adapting as we navigate this unprecedented time. We have high hopes for 2021 and embrace the new year with enthusiasm.

The pandemic and the world’s response was the whole story this year, overshadowing all other major events and developments. From a logistical and risk management perspective, it was remarkable how quickly markets adapted to a remote (WFH) model. Against what many believed was not possible for Wall Street, this forced experimentation allowed business to continue and bank earnings to reach record levels.

Recruiting activity came to a halt late March but picked up again into the summer. We noticed more trading hires this year, especially in options and EM. In sales we saw a renewed interest in the macro space. We also observed a number of candidates leaving financial markets to pursue different career paths. Many banks instituted a moratorium on both hiring and reductions during Covid that kept overall activity down. We may see a flurry of changes in the first quarter of the year as those restrictions are lifted and headcount adjustments are made.

We expect talent acquisition to be selective again in 2021, and the theme will remain centered around recruiting for junior and diverse candidates. Emerging markets and derivatives will be a focus, corporate solutions and structuring roles seem to be popping up, and of course the investment in automation and e will stay strong. Hiring managers have a new skill they need to look for: candidates who work well independently and can self manage. As it has been the past few years, it will be 2nd and 3rd tier shops who will be the most active as they look to gain market share. Candidates are gravitating to places that exhibit a strong commitment to growth and a collaborative culture.

Download the full report: Artemis Consulting 2020 Moves and Commentary

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