If you’re in the UK and passing the town of Westerham in Kent, you might want to check out the Fox and Hounds pub on Toys Hill. There you will find Tim Harvey, proprietor and former senior equities trader in the City of London.
Harvey has only just assumed the mantle of pub landlord according to his public profile. His last job in banking ended in July 2016, when he left Olivetree Financial, the UK agency broker where he spent 18 months in sales trading. Prior to that, he was head of European and U.S. equity sales trading at Cantor Fitzgerald, head of equity trading for Europe at RBC Capital Markets, and head of US sales trading to Europe at DLJ (before it was purchased by Credit Suisse).
After a 34 year career in the City, Harvey was ready to retire to the Kent hills. “I’ve gone from one service industry to another,” he says, adding that he still loves the City and the markets but misses the human interaction that was integral to trading in the past.
Even if Harvey hadn’t been ready to leave finance, headhunters say new jobs for senior equities professionals are hard to come by. “There are a lot of very experienced guys out of the market,” says the head of one equities search firm, speaking off the record. “The big banks are barely hiring – and when they are, they’re more interested in hiring vice president level workhorse type staff than these expensive managing directors and executive directors.
“If you’re 45 year-old equities trader, life is tough,” he adds. “Your best bet is to join a commission only house, like Mirabaud, and eat what you kill.”
Harvey isn’t the first experienced equities trader to call it a day and do something totally different. Last week we spoke to one who’s running a real estate business on Britain’s south coast.
The dispersal of senior equities types is a warning of what could happen to fixed income traders as their market too becomes increasingly electronic. At Goldman Sachs, CIO Marty Chavez says the firm has gone from 600 to four sales traders who broke stocks over the phone as computers have taken over the trading floor. A former Goldman Sachs programmer told the New York Times the firm now only needs one programmer to do the work of 10 of the old school traders who lost their jobs.
Harvey has put this behind him. His new situation holds charms that the City can’t compete with. The Fox and Hounds boasts real ales, log fires, a woodland garden, and a ‘great Sunday lunch.”