Can you work as a senior trader and avoid alcohol? 38 year old Andrew Kearns, a former Glencore commodities trader, attempted to argue that trading and alcohol are closely associated, especially at Glencore.
"Alcohol consumption is an integral part of entertaining and building relationships with people," argued Cairns, who was dismissed by the commodities trading firm after drinking with colleagues until 4.30am and missing a series of meetings in Singapore. "A lot of business is done in the oil industry over alcohol. Why do you think Glencore hold parties with free bars?”
There’s a culture, particularly in Glencore, where people will go en masse to the pub on a Friday afternoon, conducting transactions on their Blackberrys and mobile phones," Kearns also argued. "Often people were drinking more than I was. Other people were drunk at their desks, trading drunk.”
Kearns claimed that Glencore's is a results driven business, where drinking is tolerated if traders make money. He said he drank no more than 10 bottles of Tiger beer on the night that prompted his dismissal, and that he had been requested to take his colleagues out in Singapore. The next day, he reportedly missed breakfast, lunch and afternoon meetings and failed to answer his phone. Glencore claimed that Cairns had alcohol-related problems and dismissed him. Kearns, a father of three, who earned £310k a year and was owed $1.2m in Glencore shares, attempted to sue the oil company for wrongful dismissal and to recover his Glencore stock. Yesterday, however, a judge dismissed the case saying Kearns didn't have a proper legal claim. Traders who go out drinking with clients and colleagues have been warned.
Separately, the Financial Times has been out on the front line with recent graduates desperate to find a financial services job. At the London Graduate Fair, the FT encountered Calum Watt, founder of 'City Trading and Investment', a trader training company which charges £695 a month for internships in trading and portfolio management. After initial training in an office in Canary Wharf, City Trading and Investment interns log into a 'virtual trading room' from home and take lessons remotely, said Watt. The best interns will be offered trading jobs, with “remuneration based on the profits they make,” he informed students. Watt's LinkedIn profile shows that he has a qualification in insurance and previously ran a wealth management company WMI, about which we can find limited information.
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