Needless to say, there’s no revenue generation in the middle office. In my opinion this makes for a more political environment: promotion is all about who you know and how much they like you.
For my sins, I have worked in a variety of jobs in the middle office. In the process, I have come across a variety of managers, most of whom can be fitted into one of several categories. These include:
Often very professional. Unfortunately not very likeable.
Usually has weak technical knowledge and is capable only of writing emails. These managers can often delegate almost EVERYTHING. Blame for not meeting targets is attributed to everyone except themselves.
Within middle office divisions there is often a culture of, ‘making yourself seen/heard.’ This will often manifest as childish/moronic observations in dull divisional meetings. These people are frequently incompetent to a degree that could pose a serious level of operational risk. PowerPoint professionals, they will spend their days interacting with people on a face to face basis leaving no audit trail. Confirm anything they say in an email.
He or she will do his/her utmost to defend colleagues. Actually quite pleasant to work with.
This person has often worked at a US bulge bracket and will have moved to a lower tier European bank in search of better work-life balance. He will speak frequently about procedures at a previous employer, before realizing that it’s not necessary to work so hard any more. Can be bearable once this revelation has been achieved.