The nation's overall employment picture may be improving, but that's not the case for some of the highest paying positions on Wall Street before the financial crisis.
Those high-voltage stress-inducing jobs that brought in big money on the Street have essentially become relics of the past, eight years after the Great Recession helped wipe them out.
Executive recruiter Chad Dean, who specializes in finding candidates to fill both buy-side and sell-side positions, had a front row seat to the carnage.
"The most significant change is the massive reduction of employment on Wall Street, especially in the front office. (Proprietary) trading is gone. Most fixed income desks have shrunk," said Dean, who's managing partner of Integrated Management Resources. "I played a small part in the financial crisis by placing (collateralized debt offering) structurers. They were in such high demand that they were constantly being poached by other firms by bidding up their compensation."
The CDO structurers, who made on average $500,000 a year, were among the most despised for the role they held in the crisis.
They were knee-deep in subprime loans — selling the often-bad loans to pension funds, hedge funds, regional banks and other buyers. Some also negotiated with rating agencies to make sure their CDOs would receive an investment grade rating.