To assuage any lingering doubts that investment banking is a young person’s game best suited to competitive people with very high stamina, Deutsche Bank has appointed an former ironman triathlete and Scottish youth rugby international as its UK chief executive.
Colin Grassie isn’t the only sporting icon in banking. Financial News points out that the industry is also home to several rugby players, including Simon Halliday, former England wing, now head of emerging markets equity sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Nomura.
Banks obviously think there’s something to be said for employing people whose urge to success has manifested itself in great sporting achievements.
Phillip Hodson, a fellow for the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, says it makes sense: “You need to be semi- [super?] human to work in the City. London is in a time zone which straddles the Asian and American markets, so it consumes young people fuelled by coffee and testosterone – you can’t do it for too long and you need incredible stamina.”
However, the head of HR at one European bank says he has no urge to target sporting types: “A lot of our most senior staff are into gardening.”