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Morning Coffee: 25 year-old banker typifies finance life crisis. Rothschild expedites bonuses

Banking life crisis

How to resist the notion that you're wasting your youth in banking

As a 25 year-old in banking, you may earn good money. Do not assume, however, that this generous income will bring a feeling of warm contentment and general optimism about the future. It may simply leave you feeling confused.

The Financial Times has a letter from an anonymous 25 year-old in banking for whom the archetypal mid-life crisis seems to have struck early. Although the banker concerned likes his colleagues, doesn’t have to work too hard (8.30am to 6.30pm) and is paid, “extremely well”, he complains that his job has “no meaning and makes me feel extremely bored at best.”

“Am I just another entitled idiot for thinking I am wasting my youth?” he asks. “I want to quit, but I am scared I will end up just as bored, and working with more annoying people while earning three times less.” Lucy Kellaway, the FT’s in-house agony aunt, offers some pragmatic advice. She points out that it’s perfectly normal to find a banking job boring and suggests three ways around this: see it as a game and focus on getting promoted faster than your rivals, revel in the money, or give up seeking purpose at work.  “Stop asking yourself whether it has any meaning. Stop expecting to be fulfilled and excited every minute. Try to see the processes as an end in themselves,” is Kellway’s favoured solution.

Separately, the Financial Times also reports that Rothschild is weighing up whether to bring its bonus payments forward from June in case a Labour government gets into power and imposes a windfall tax on banking bonuses. Rothschild was burnt by the bonus tax in 2009, when the then-Labour government deliberately extended the tax deadline to include Rothschild’s unusually late payments. This isn’t the first time a bank has toyed with changing its bonus calendar for tax purposes: Goldman Sachs did the same in 2013, but backed down following condemnation in the British press.

Meanwhile:

Hedge fund manager divulges hiring requirements: “I like to sense whether a person is that kind of person, whether they’re just going to shrink and fold when they’re just on a cold streak or if they’re going to rise to the occasion, work harder, maintain their composure, and overcome.” (BusinessInsider) 

Until 2003. Stuart Gulliver had his bonuses paid to a company based in Panama. (Guardian)

UBS is rumoured to be moving back into the SSA debt business, two years after it quit. (Euromoney) 

Reminder: Between 2012 and 2014, JPMorgan hired 14,000 control staff. (WSJ) 

The world view of Crispin Odey. (Guardian)  

Chunky signing-on bonuses and “precations”—paid vacations before taking up a new position—are being dangled in front of tech folk to tempt them to jump ship. (Economist) 

How unemployment might change your personality. (NYMag) 

How to deal with a co-worker who’s a slacker. (HBR) 

How it is in the morning for the chairman of the London Stock Exchange. (Twitter) 

Deutsche Bank’s equity sales team is the best in Europe. (Institutional Investor)  

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