Investment banking is not known for its lifestyle pleasures. The former saleswoman interviewed recently by the Guardian says she worked, “at least 14 hours a day including the commute.” Sophie De Rouet, who left Merrill Lynch for St. James’s Place, said she regularly worked 12 hour days and felt banking placed too much demand on her time.
Financial services recruitment can also be demanding in terms of time. Unlike most banking roles, however, it can be undertaken from the luxury of an exotic location.
Hence, the employees of one London-based search firm are about to decamp to a private island off Miami for a few months.
They will be working there, explains one consultant. “We can fly in and out of New York to interview candidates,” he points out.
Similarly, but less tropically, Stephen McCarty, managing partner at BBM Search (which provided this morning’s compensation survey), says he and all his colleagues work from home and have the use of several private members clubs in the City and the West End.
“This works well for consultants who don't want to spend half their life on a packed train, or those who actually want to see their children grow up rather than just at weekends,” says McCarty: “I live in the country with my family, 3 dogs, 4 horses, and some sheep - I wouldn't be able to live here if I had to do 14 hours in an office in the City each day!”
Given that successful financial services headhunters can comfortably earn six figures, even in the current market, this makes high-end recruitment look like an appealing profession.
McCarty might even be hiring: “We’re always hiring if we find experienced consultants,” he says.