For the last number of years, private equity firms and hedge funds slowly moved up the time at which they recruit that gotta-have-it talent, junior banking analysts, until it got to the point that they were making offers of employment to people who had graduated college and started working on Wall Street but months earlier, and still had a year and half of servitude left at their respective banks. While employers were used to having second years check out vis-à-vis doing any kind of productive work a couple months before moving on, they finally decided enough was enough. Feet were put down, expectations (that people would stop interviewing shortly after their first day on the job) communicated.
Knowing it's one thing to smile, nod, and then tell Apollo HR that you look forward to seeing them on Monday and another to put your name on a contract promising you'll do no such thing or risk getting canned, Morgan Stanley sought to get a little extra assurance its worker-bees would fall in line, requiring them last summer to put it in writing or beat it.
And while the fear of god was successfully put into some, the craftier ones were having none of it.
Eventually, many Morgan Stanley analysts sought interviews secretly, ignoring the pledge they signed last year, said a person with knowledge of the matter. “That’s a difficult thing to monitor,” said Richard Lipstein, managing director of New York-based recruiting firm Gilbert Tweed International. “While you can scare the bejesus out of a 22-year-old, the smart ones will know that you can’t stop someone from managing their career.”
And now this is happening.
Morgan Stanley has abandoned an attempt to block first-year bankers from talking with recruiters for outside companies after employees complained, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
While the juniormistmakers may have won this round, they might not want to forget who runs this house. If Jim Gorman as much as smells the cheap cologne of a familiar recruiter within 50 feet of one of MS's first years, don't think he isn't putting that in the employee file come bonus season.