If you’re a senior banker in M&A, it might feel a bit like you’re never in the office and that you lead the peripatetic life of a louche itinerant in business class lounges. Maybe you do. But this does not constitute, ‘working remotely’.
If you want to work remotely in banking and finance (in the sense of working from a home office, in ‘yoga pants’), there’s only one job that really fits the bill: research. Researchers, very occasionally, wangle remote working.
“When I worked for [a large US investment bank], I lived in rural France,” said one research professional, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They spent a small fortune laying a high-speed cable to my house so I could stay connected.”
That same research professional then moved to rural England, to work for an independent research boutique – suggesting it’s not just big banks who oblige their research staff in this way.
A US oil and gas analyst (who also asked to remain anonymous) said that he too works remotely – most recently for a mid-size broker dealer. And veteran US banking analyst Dick Bove reportedly works out of a, ‘home office in Florida with grandchildren and dogs cavorting outside his door.’
However, it’s not easy to find a research job (let alone any other job in investment banking) that will let you work at home. Remote positions are rarely broadcast – although J.P. Morgan is currently advertising four UK-based homeworking positions in its ‘global payment processing and merchant acquiring business,’ which authorises payment transactions.
For this reason, the oil and gas analyst said homeworking in finance isn’t great: “I’ve had to miss out on potential jobs because working remotely wasn’t an option. It puts you at a bit of a disadvantage because you don’t get to interact with colleagues and discuss the work in the office setting.”
If you do want to get ahead in your yoga pants, you’ll probably need a high profile cheerleader internally and to do your time in a major financial centre before you put them on: “I’m friends with the boss,” explained the researcher in the English countryside. “We worked together in the City before I left for France.”