While most financial sector workers are worrying about the impact of Brexit on their job prospects this summer, 30-year-old Selasi Gbormittah will be more concerned about soggy bottoms.
Selasi is representing the banking sector in the new series of Great British Bake Off. There could not be a bigger stage to be the public face of finance. Forget all the former bankers in Theresa May’s new cabinet, GBBO could do more to engender bankers to the British public than anything. It’s a sensation, it’s huge – at its peak during the final last year, 14.5m people tuned in. This was the biggest show of 2015 in the UK, and the ongoing snowball effect of its popularity suggests even more people will be watching in 2016.
In the era of tight compliance within the financial sector, GBBO’s press team has been careful not to reveal the employer of Selasi, who is actually a client service associate and he has no public records online. But we understand that he works for Deutsche Bank in London.
The pressure on Selasi’s shoulders is immense. Not since a huge contingent of senior bankers and traders started clapping and singing on Gareth Malone’s The Choir in 2013 has their been such an imperative to show the people of Britain that bankers are really OK. The likelihood that the British public will warm to a contestant from the financial sector is smaller than the chances of them embracing Paul Jagger, the stony-face prison officer from Swansea in the 2015 series. Just bake a bread giraffe and he’ll be fine.
Luckily for you, Selasi appears to be a likeable, smiley character who not only manages combine a demanding banking career with regularly baking fairy cakes, but has also spent a lot of time fundraising for charities including a trek through Malawi. In case you need any extra motivation to fire off an application to Deutsche Bank, Selasi regularly brings in treats: “Colleagues are often shocked by the delicate cupcakes he makes for their charity bakesales,” says the GBBO press team.
Selasi is not the only banker to embrace culinary ambitions. Our own columnist Mark Franczyk left a ten-year career at J.P. Morgan to start a career as a pastry chef. Andrew ‘Koj’ Kojima, a long time equity analyst, took part in Masterchef in 2013 and now runs his own cooking business.