The competition among investment banks to snare top students is heating up as they cast the net as far as India and China to recruit an increasing number of bright new hires this summer.
Some investment banks say their graduate intake is now close to an all-time high thanks to an uptick in the economic cycle and healthy profits. "The war for global talent is hotting up," said Fiona Sandford, director of career services at the London School of Economics, where a third of graduates go to investment banks.
City banks and investment funds expect to take on around 17 per cent more graduates this summer than a year ago and are receiving around 47 applications per vacancy, according to a survey released on Tuesday by the Association of Graduate Recruiters.
"We're all driven by economic cycles," said Helen Bostock, global head of campus marketing for JPMorgan, which employs up to 300 graduates each year.
It is no surprise that the prospect of million-pound bonuses for future City high-flyers proves a lure for ambitious graduates who do not flinch at the prospect of high-pressured, 14-hour working days in a searingly competitive environment.
"If you're any good, you're extremely well paid, and if you're 28 and not earning 200,000 to 300,000 pounds per year, clearly your days are numbered," said Cantor Index's David Buik.
"It's dog eat dog; you don't get second chance. If you're no good, you're out in an investment bank."