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Incontrovertible proof that investment banking is no longer a sexy career

At least not for UK university students….(You will need to click on the chart to enlarge.)

Source: High Fliers Research

Comments (25)

  1. Go figure…. publicity about bad bonuses, 50% tax rate……

    But don’t fret….. this figure doesn’t mean anything…. In two years we shall be back to somewhere near the previous excesses.

  2. Over the last 10 years investment banking has come to be a broad umbrella for a lot of things. Sales and Trading is classified as investment banking when it really shouldn’t be. The 31% decrease is graduates unable to get onto sales and trading analyst programs.

  3. Yeah, cos bleeding out 100hrs a week used to be so much fun. Just the money, thanks.

  4. Nonesense. Every student in university knows that IB (S&T or IBD) pays significantly more than any other industry or job. And the simple truth is, the majority of students want well paid jobs.

    The majority of students who would have applied for FO positions are worried that, due to current market conditions, the likelihood of them getting an offer are slim (which is true). Therefore, they apply to other roles which seem safer.

    Speak to the above students and the majority of them will still have a large amount of interest to head into IB when things get “better”.

  5. Its because people know how hard it is to get in now with barely any headcount, so have given up their dreams for inferior professions, knowing they’re not good enough.

  6. Actually, it is a good thing that finance is not that hot as a profession. It seems we had all sorts of people coming in for the money in the good years, and many simply were not any good. Maybe they should do what they really are good at instead.

  7. A cautious approach is recommended in IB.I agree with Anon that all sorts of people had entered the IB market . To be specific ,guys selling FMCG products had started selling IB products ; former is an art , whereas latter is a science .Comb them out , wait and see the results.

  8. Such words of wisdom SurinderK. You must be a Sufi mystic, no?

    Bilbo the Wise Reply
  9. I for one am glad. Since I will be starting my grad prog in FO this year. 2-3 years down the line, I will have somewhat less competiton, a benefit for the future I guess.

  10. This is the most sure sign yet that recovery will be imminent!

    Warren Buffet often talks about the “Three I’s” of industry. This is never more evident than in finance. You have first the Innovators of the 70’s and 80’s (Fischer Black, Emmanuel Derman, Lew Ranieri, Mike Milken etc). Then come the Imitators(hedge funds). Finally, you have the Idiots (people who have shown up this decade….i.e 25 year olds hawking Z-Bond toxic mortgage coupons to widows and orphan funds).

    Once all those clowns go back to working in management consulting, we might see some respect come back to the banking industry.

    Johnny Moondog Reply
  11. ‘unequivocal proof’ sounds less tongue-twisitng…

  12. Hurricane,
    read it for what it is – 31% drop in the number of applicants. They may well have not got onto sales and trading analyst programs, but the fact is they did not apply. Most of them are likely to be hiding under the solace of postgraduate education, awaiting an upturn in the market. The recovery in the economy will be very slow and ambiguous and hiring will still be very selective for a while to come.

  13. why is investment banking in it’s own category, and not part of finance?

  14. Good, be contrarian and apply to IBD.

    Never follow the cows.

  15. Our CDO Z note was hawked to institutional investers :)

  16. Mike Milken? Yes, I suppose he was an innovator, in a manner of speaking… Not much of a role model, though.

  17. dave – IB [i.e. FO IB] IS different to broader “finance”

    – it is arguably tougher, certainly more competitive, and therefore better rewarded than things like finance roles in corporates, or accountancy.

    sad but true, as there are a lot of very bright and well qualified people in the aforementioned sectors.

  18. Surely this completely misses the point and as such doesn’t really have any explanatory value!? The thing we should be looking at is applications per place, and on that score Investment Banking will stil be near the top if not at the top of the list, and would have actually gone up this year as applications have only dropped by 31% but the number of places has probably halved.

  19. can one of you tello me what Investment Banking is please? The terms seems to be used to cover a range of general financial and consultancy services these days.


  20. investment banking is… working for an investment bank (or, more accurately, working for the investment banking FUNCTION of a larger financial services organisation)

    i.e. broadly…

    — sales / trading / research of things like equities, currencies, bonds or commodiites (and/or their derivatives)
    — m&a
    — debt / equity origination

    nowadays there are some other functions within most investment banks (like private equity), but 95% of grads [let’s not forget what this discussion is about] will join banks to work within one of the above areas, once they’ve finished their training.

  21. time for ya’ll peeps to step into management consulting, that’s wassup in the 21st century, banking is old news caused by poor central banking! welcome to the new world order!! time for a change, no more easy money, time to work for money, bucks is broke right now, truth is coming in! I’m proud of credit crunch it is a correction in the economy we should embrace the future, entrepreneurship is the new i-banking

  22. JoeBudden – great but the net worth generated by pointless management consultants is lower than the worst investment banker. it’s a pointless job

  23. There is a nice little video that summarises the conflict between Investment Banking and Consulting and it’s done in the style of musical theatre:


    This is about to go down like Bear Stearns – genius line.

  24. ponterotto,

    Perhaps IB is pointless if after 8 years (since the last recession) someone is worse off. The new wave took people to great new heights although most of them crushed at the end of the ride.

    You see, IB never has the long-term perspective in sights. A good management consultant will look into years of business sustainability.

    And overall, the global economy in long-term can only grow at a certain rate, highly influenced by demographics and advances in technology. Pure financial innovation never spurred growth – au contraire.


    Global_Citizen Reply
  25. Thanks jjj.

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