Your Leg Up In Getting Hired: Revenue Producing Or Expense Protecting

Are you revenue producing or expense protecting? Either will put you ahead of other candidates.

It is time to address the types of people getting hired, generally speaking. It does not matter if you are a public finance professional, underwriter, trader, or even bond counsel; this categorization will apply across the board. There are two types of individuals that are prime to be hired. You are either on the revenue side, or you are on the expense side. There are no other areas that you could be representing in an employment situation. To summarize simply, you are either revenue producing or expense protecting. Now, let us examine each one of these areas in order for you to highlight your expertise as it relates to them.

Revenue Producing

We will start first with revenue producing, what does that actually mean?   If you are a revenue producer, you are solely responsible for the revenue that is brought into the firm. Generally, many people see themselves as revenue producing; but, when I share their background with a firm, the revenue that you think you are responsible for upon further reflection is really the company’s revenue (not your individual revenue). This can happen for numerous reasons. The first reason is that you are predominantly a transactional employee that is doing the work of other revenue producers. In other words, to use a more colloquial expression, you are not the actual rainmaker. A second reason that this may occur, even though you may be one of the rainmakers on a team, can be due to the fact that the revenue is exactly that – attributed to the team and not to you as an individual. This makes it much harder to be able to demonstrate the revenue you have been paid for that you have actually generated. A third reason can be the revenue attributed to you was actually revenue from the company, and you were just acting as a servicing agent for the firm.

The latest thought with revenue producing becomes crystal clear when I present your background to a potential investment banking firm or law firm when they ask me how comfortable you are at moving clients.  In response, I have to share with them my concerns that your clients are not necessarily able to be transitioned since they are most likely house accounts. Another way this appears is if you are working for a minority-based firm, where revenue attributed to you was assigned because the lead underwriter or firms had to have a minority base component to be able to bring their bonds to market.

Expense Protecting

Other than revenue producing, the second characterization is someone who is expense protecting. An individual such as a compliance officer or other “C” level executives that are on the expense side are also in demand. As the SEC, MSRB and FINRA continue to closely monitor all legal and financial transactions, the firms I represent are increasing the number of professionals who can help in this area. It is not just compliance on the investment banking side that is stimulating the hiring of additional legal personnel at investment banking firms as well. The increase in the number of attorneys at law firms that specialize in this area is becoming a more predominant request for H Friedman Search to fulfill. Along the lines of expense protecting is the need for more transactional attorneys. Section 103 attorneys specifically are more in demand as the municipal bond product is becoming more complicated; additionally, bankers and underwriters becoming more creative in their financings and the ability to sign off on their tax-exempt status is most important.

Next Steps & The Future For Those In Revenue Producing & Expense Protecting Positions

If you are able to fill a revenue producing or an expense protecting position, you will definitely be in demand as 2021 is looking like a banner year for public finance professionals. The day-to-day calendar is growing with potential deals, which is causing an influx of firms wanting to hire public finance professionals nationwide to fill these needs. With the graying of bond counsels and senior managing directors, there is a void that needs to be addressed over the next coming years. This is why now is the opportune time if there is a legitimate reason your current needs are remaining unfulfilled.  Call us to talk about those concerns and let us share with you our opportunistic hiring situations for all public finance professionals.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs so you never miss one. 

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.