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Because banks have traditionally been classified as either investment banks or commercial banks, recruitment and training for one has not been identical with recruitment for the other, just as career experience in a Main Street family bank as a loans manager traditionally hasn't sufficed as preparation for working in a Wall Street investment bank as a derivatives specialist.
The difference can be described as follows:
* Commercial banking - banking that covers services such as cash management (money transfers, payroll services, bank reconcilement), credit services (asset-based financing, lines of credits, commercial loans or commercial real estate loans), deposit services (checking or savings account services) and foreign exchange
* Investment banking - banking that covers an array of services from asset securitization, coverage of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructuring to securities underwriting, equity private placements and placements of debt securities with institutional investors.
But with the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act of 1933, which had kept these separate and a collapse of the likes of Lehman Brothers at bay, some overlap now exists as the previous demarcation between investment banks and commercial, i.e., consumer retail, banks is blurred, if not obliterated.
As a minimum, various key personnel in the investment sector will have stronger credentials to the extent that they have an understanding and competencies, if not experience, in the commercial sector, which deals with consumer deposits, mortgages, consumer loans and the like-including assets now available to the investment bank organizational arm.
Hence, in some respects, it is reasonable to expect that in practice bank recruiting has morphed into something that reflects the changed relationship between these two kinds of banks and sets of expertise.
It would also seem reasonable to expect that the best bank recruiters would be familiar with the career paths within and between both forms of banking, would be able to identify the best niche within each for a given candidate and help select the best choice among traditional commercial and investment banks, and among the newer hybrid forms of banking.
Irrespective of which type of bank one is recruiting for, the knowledge competencies expected of a bank recruiter will be substantial, compounded by the allied security and confidentiality requirements and expectations of the positions.
As the U.S. economy has been transformed into one in which wealth is increasingly generated through finance rather than farming and manufacture, the growth of investment-based wealth and investment products seems to bode well for careers and recruiters in this sector.
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