WALL STREET CEO ON HIRING: ‘If you have any names, email them to us’

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Chief executive officer of Moelis & Co., Ken Moelis (C), smiles after ringing the bell to mark the company’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York April 16, 2014.
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REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

    Moelis & Co founder Ken Moelis said he would rather hire a managing director with room to grow, rather than pay for someone at the peak of their career. The bank has hired 12 MDs this year: eight internally and four from elsewhere.

Ken Moelis, CEO of Moelis & Company, is trying to get a message out to Wall Street: We’re hiring.

The boutique advisory firm founder explained the philosophy behind his bank’s recent hiring spree on an earnings call on Monday, saying there’s not a single sector or area the bank was not looking to expand. He added that the firm is particularly focused on hiring younger talent that has the potential to grow with the firm.

“What we don’t want to do is hire what I call peak talent,” Moelis told analysts. “There is a moment where you’re paying for peak and you’re not going get the growth.”

When pressed by an analyst about hiring younger bankers, he had a simple retort: “If you have any names, email them to us,” 59-year-old Moelis said. “We’re very interested in growing.”

Typically, bankers must put in several years as entry-level analysts, before advancing to the associate and director level. Most banks fill managing director slots from within, and typically hire those with 10+ years experience.

Since the beginning of the year, Moelis has hired four new managing directors from outside the firm and promoted eight others from within, bringing its headcount to 111 managing directors.

Not only does Moelis want to hire bankers earlier in their careers, but he said that putting undue emphasis on revenue per managing director is a “terrible idea.”

Here’s more from Moelis on his hiring philosophy:

We tried to tell a story early on in our IPO that we were hiring a different kind of managing director early in their career who really wanted to combine on a collaborative team effort and cover complex situations which require teams. Very different than a – I’ll call it a peak hire, somebody late in their career who only wants to cover their existing accounts.

The bank’s stock surged as much as 8% on Tuesday after it posted a 31% revenue growth for the quarter over the previous year, thanks to increased M&A activity. Shares are up roughly 30% so far this year.