UBS is looking to hire more SPAC-focused junior bankers as rapid-fire deals pile pressure on young Wall Street

  • UBS is looking for junior and mid-level bankers focused on SPACs, according to LinkedIn postings.
  • Banks have been flooded with SPAC work, and that’s contributing to long hours across Wall Street. 
  • Other firms like Goldman Sachs are stepping up their off-cycle hiring.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

UBS is looking to hire SPAC-focused bankers, highlighting how firms are hunting for fresh talent to help with an avalanche of work created by the blank-check boom. 

The firm in the last few weeks has posted job openings on LinkedIn for associates, analysts, and VPs to join its permanent capital solutions group, which works under the equity capital markets team, to help clients navigate the SPAC market.

The permanent capital group is headed up by Carlos Alvarez, who joined UBS in 2018 and previously was in a similar role at Deutsche Bank. According to the UBS job postings the roles work across industries and geographies to provide help provide IPO and M&A advice in the “fast-growing and dynamic” SPAC market. 

A representative for UBS declined to comment on the roles or how many people it planned to hire. But the off-cycle job postings come as banks hustle to keep up with the SPAC mania that overtook Wall Street last year and shows no signs of slowing down. There were 258 SPAC IPOs worldwide in the first three months of the year, already dwarfing last year’s total of 256 SPAC IPOs, according to data from Refinitiv.

The explosion in IPOs of these so-called blank check companies has created a rush of work for bankers who help bring them to public markets. In turn, SPACs then look to buy private companies to take them public, meaning there’s also plenty of work for bankers on what are essentially M&A transactions. 

Citi, Goldman Sachs, and Credit Suisse are leading on SPAC IPOs so far this year, with the firms completing 56, 32, and 33 deals so far in 2021, respectively. UBS is currently ranked 11th among investment banks in terms of proceeds — it has done 14 SPAC IPOs worth $2.6 billion.

UBS is acting as sole financial and capital markets advisor to BowX Acquisition Corp, the SPAC that has agreed to buy WeWork in a roughly $9 billion deal announced on Friday. 

But while SPACs have been a bright spot for investment firms, that high volume is among the factors contributing to an especially heavy workload for junior bankers, who are burning out after a year of nonstop work from home.

Kevin Mahoney, a partner and the head of the investment-banking, private-equity, and private-credit practices at the recruiting firm Bay Street Advisors, told Insider earlier this month that he was seeing signs of burnout at junior and mid-level ranks and that he’s heard some recent hires at prominent investment banks were already jumping ship.

First-year analysts at Goldman complained about clocking in 100-hour workweeks to keep pace with rapid-fire deals, and CEO David Solomon said this week the firm was also ramping up its general hiring of junior bankers to help alleviate the crunch. Jeffries CEO Richard Handler also said this week he is seeking more young talent, Bloomberg reported.

“Everyone is in the market for associates from what it seems,” Mahoney said earlier this month, adding that vice-president-level candidates were also feeling the strain.

Other banks including Moelis, Citi, and Morgan Stanley are also looking for entry- and mid-level bankers to do SPAC-specific work, according to LinkedIn job postings.

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