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Morning Coffee: Goldman Sachs counters claim that banking is for losers. Rush of compliance hiring ahead

Banking vs tech

Technology companies' secret weapon

Banking is for sad people who are happy to throw their lives into a hole. So says Jennifer Surane, Bloomberg’s ‘star intern.’ Surane has spoken to various Harvard Business School graduates who suggest banking juniors are more deserving of pity than plaudits.

“When we hear that our classmates managed to acquire a position with an investment bank, we say ‘Congratulations,”’ said one of the graduates Surane spoke to. “But we are thinking, ‘I’m sorry to hear that.” Instead of banking, the hot career of the moment is technology, where the hours are bearable, the money is good and there are vats of green juice in the office. 

Goldman Sachs hasn’t addressed Surane’s viral article directly, but the firm coincidentally chose the day of its publication to push two short videos on Twitter stressing that Goldman is fun. In the first, the firm’s summer analyst feature in a ‘behind the scenes’ GoPro video in which they are gardening and gathering up leaves. In the second, we get a little look at Goldman’s wellness offering, which includes fitness centres, creches, health centres and ‘work life balance.’ Elsewhere, Goldman stresses that its fitness centres include deodorant and headphones. 

Will this be enough to entice Harvard MBAs back to banking? Possibly not. “People used to brag and say, ‘Oh yeah, 21-hour days, seven days a week for eight months,’ that was a badge of honor,” says one of Surane’s interviewees. “The humble brag is now, ‘Oh yeah, I work 9 to 5, I get paid a ton of money, and I have a great life.”

Separately, as we’ve said before, compliance hiring is not over. HSBC has hired ‘more than 2,200 staff to monitor internal processes this year and Standard Chartered seems set to do something similar. During this week’s conference call, Bill Winters said Standard Chartered likely faces further compliance remediation requirements and that the bank had been putting revenue growth ahead of risk discipline. Winters is due to set out a new strategy for Standard Chartered at the end of this year. Additional compliance and risk hiring seems very likely to be a part of that.

Meanwhile:

Leda Braga is doing fine away from Bluecrest. (Bloomberg) 

Andy Hall is not doing so well away from Citi. His oil fund lost 17% in July. (Reuters) 

Deutsche Bank’s old head of prime finance (Daniel Caplan) is leaving. Its new one is Ashley Wilson. (Financial News)

Senior M&A banker calls the imminent end of the M&A boom. (Business Insider)

The median salary for a train driver in the UK is £48k. (Bloomberg News) 

If you’re privately educated, you’ll earn more and be more likely to retain a ‘high status job.’ (Sutton Trust) 

Photo credit: Robert Gourley


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