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Morning Coffee: Barclays’ unusual taste in junior bankers. Is Liechtenstein a solution for the City?

Non-finance degree banking

Barclays wants something a little bit different

If you look at the sorts of people investment banks hire onto their analyst programmes, you could be forgiven for assuming that they prefer a certain type of identikit finance student – preferably with a masters qualification, if not a CFA Level I, if not both.

Not Barclays.

The British investment bank has let it be known that it has rarefied tastes in graduate hires: it likes them alternative; maybe they won’t even have studied finance at all.

Reuters reports that this year’s summer analyst class at Barclays investment bank in London comprises a higher-than-usual percentage of non-finance students. In any normal year, 90% of Barclays’ interns are studying finance; this year, 60% are.

The arrival of all the art history and English literature students coincides with attempts to make the job more interesting. “Nobody wants to work all night on a 100 page pitch book and then see it thrown into the recycling,” says Sam Dean, co-head of Barclay at EMEA, implying that finance students’ are perhaps more willing to tolerate this than others.

In fact, Barclays’ taste in 20 year-olds may be less outré than it seems. Goldman Sachs has long broadcast its interest in hiring liberal arts students as well as the finance-obsessed.  However, own own research suggests that non-finance types are unlikely to land the best roles: few are to be found in M&A or trading.

Separately, Britain’s Brexiteers have been invoking Liechtenstein for a while. Now former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has taken up the cry.  “In theory, the Norway option — membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) — could be stretched to include a Liechtenstein-type protocol on limiting residency permits, or involve use of the EEA’s safeguard clause,” wrote Brown in a little thing for Project Syndicate yesterday.

The protocol Brown’s referring to is included in article 112 of the EEA agreement. It allows EEA members to apply “safeguard measures” when, ‘serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties arise.’ In practice, it’s enabled Liechtenstein to restrict immigration from the EU to just 56 economically active and 16 economically inactive people per year and to have access to the EEA (along with the all-important financial services passporting rights this entails). In this sense, the Liechtenstein arrangement looks like a panacea for both Brexiteers, who want immigration controls, and for banks, which want to access mainland Europe from London.  Liechtenstein is tiny though. Whether the EU would grant similar concessions to the UK is questionable.

Meanwhile:

Senior bankers at J.P. Morgan in London wish Jamie Dimon would desist from threatening to move jobs out of the UK. (Financial Times)

250 Britons a day are enquiring about becoming German citizens. That figure was 25 a day before the referendum. (Financial Times) 

Soon, the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority will recommend whether non-EU based hedge funds, private equity and real-estate funds can sell their products within the bloc. The verdict will set an important precedent for the UK. (Bloomberg) 

French European Affairs Minister rediscovers banker-bashing, says Jose Manuel Barroso’s move to Goldman Sachs is “scandalous.”  “I can assure you I won’t go to Goldman Sachs,” declares EU Economics Commissioner. (France24)

Deutsche Bank hired Jonas Juel Ulrich from BNP Paribas as a VP in sovereign, supranational and agency DCM. (Reuters) 

Algorithmic trading isn’t the growth area it’s supposed to be: it only increased by 10% in the U.S. last year. (TheTradeNews)  

Private equity executive aspires to build “grotesque” underground pool.  “A swimming pool is an inappropriate and unnecessary use in such a building. There is a good public swimming pool a few minutes’ walk away.” (Evening Standard)

Why Goldman Sachs bankers get fat: “We get one [$25 meal voucher] at midnight, 4 a.m., 8 a.m., and it continues on depending on how long you stay.” (Business Insider) 

Britain’s new prime minister is a meritocrat who aspires to, “set people free to go as far as their talents will take them.” (StumblingandMumbling) 

Working in the City and being nefarious are not equivalent: “Philip [May] is a client relationship manager who stays in contact with organisations and institutions in the UK to ensure they are happy with the service being delivered by Capital Group and that we understand their goals.” (Independent)

How to dress when you’re a relationship manager at a fund management firm and your wife is the Prime Minister of Britain. (Marie Claire)

Give yourself permission to work fewer hours. (HBR)

Photo credit: James Woodson

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