It might not compare to an investment banking bonus in a boom year, but the money paid by some financial training companies is good. And it’s possible to spend half the year on a yacht.
Even more remarkably, training companies still appear to be looking for staff. “We’ve hired around six people in the past year and we expect to add another three by December,” says Tom Gardner of ACF Consultants, which provides front office and operations training to banks in the City.
BPP Financial Services Faculty, which dominates the financial exam preparation market, also appears to be looking for trainers. “We are selectively hiring for our financial exam courses,” says marketing manager Nick Miller.
Why are financial training companies still hiring when anyone would think banks must have far fewer people to be trained? One senior training executive says it’s because training lags the rest of the market and is insulated from the worst of the pain: “In 2002 and 2003 there was a slight slimming down, but nothing substantial.”
It helps that most training companies have a flexible cost model: trainers are engaged on a freelance consultancy basis rather than as full-time employees. Gardner says ACF trainers work anything from five to 120 days a year, for anything from 1k-2k for a 9-5 day (all the material is provided by the company, so there’s no preparation work to do in advance).
Getting into training isn’t particularly easy, though. ACF only employs former banking directors and managing directors. At BPP, Miller says candidates need experience of working in the ‘investment profession’ and must have nebulous ‘teaching qualities’.