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Working hours – do China’s bankers have the right idea?

Forget slogging your guts out for an investment bank, you’re much better off working for the public sector.

This, at least, seems to be the conclusion reached by a senior banker in China.

Wilson Feng, former chairman of China investment banking for Merrill Lynch, told Bloomberg last week that he was quitting banking to work in a state-owned enterprise because he wanted to change his life.

“It’s a nightmare,” Feng reportedly said. “My father won’t recognise me if I stay in investment banking. I didn’t see him for almost three years.”

He added that during the four years he worked in banking, he spent 70% of his time executing deals and never slept for longer than five hours a night.

Although salaries at state-owned enterprises are low by comparison with banking, Feng pointed out that you can at least have a (better) life.

Time to hoof it over to Network Rail?

Comments (7)

  1. Show me a public sector employee and I’ll show you someone who’s banking their entire life on an index linked pension and the thrill of retiring at 55. Far better to make your money now, far away from the state, and live large in the process.

  2. you guys need to know that a CEO of Chinese state-owned eterprise can earn millions of “underground money” (with low presure and much less working hours)

    A Chinese quant Reply
  3. Yeah! Life & family is far more important than overly long hours!!

  4. Fancypants – the Article’s subject says he wants a better life – implying he had a worse one in investment banking. He jokes but the sentiment is true about the value of his father recognising him. To me, life is so short I’d rather spend my time with my friends & family, where how large I live doesn’t matter. But if you cannot tame greed and live large at the cost of the other more important things, go for it. You’re only hurting yourself and the ones who love you.

    Perhaps its releant to quote Notorious BIG “Mo Money Mo problems”

  5. If i remember well he’s going to work for a Sov Fund, not so bad even if public!

  6. I say good luck to him but I think I would choose to strike a balance between work and family. Money is important in todays world so earn as much as possible as quick as possible to give yourself and your family the best you can in life. However, the way the markets are going it looks like employment could be short lived for alot of us unless your in the commodities sector or spread betting!

  7. sovereign wealth funds are now shaping a new economy, like private equity did in the past. These guys have plenty of cash (more than PE firms and hedge funds combined) and lack sophistication, and hence they are happy to offer competitve package and a better life to attract talents.

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