You’re a 23 year-old IBD analyst working 80 hour weeks. You want to take an entire year off to travel without throwing your long term finance career into a hole. Sanjay Jain, the ex-global head of software investment banking at J.P. Morgan, has done just that.
Jain took a full year’s sabbatical from J.P. Morgan’s San Francisco office in April 2015. In investment banking terms, a break of this length is often synonymous with career suicide – especially if you’re a burned out 20-something. For Jain, however, the year out has led to an interesting new job offer. Financial News reports that he will be returning as J.P. Morgan’s new EMEA head of technology investment banking, based in London.
What did Jain do to deserve such an offer? He seemingly didn’t spend his year out engaged in a worthy activity like absorbing a foreign language or learning how to code in Python. Instead, Financial News says Jain spent the time travelling and being with his family. Substituting friends for family, which 23-year-old analyst wouldn’t like to do the same? Unfortunately, you’re not indispensable and irreplaceable in banking until you have some big clients to your name. Before hitting the beaches, Jain spent 20 years in finance and brought in some massive deals – including Cisco Systems $2.7 billion acquisition of Sourcefire in 2013. If you’re a 23 year-old who dreams of a protracted holiday from finance, you might need to wait until you’ve done something similarly memorable. If not, you leave at your peril.
Separately, following predictions that equities sales and trading revenues will fall more than fixed income sales and trading revenues in 2016, banks are continuing to chop equities traders. Bloomberg reports that Jefferies cut 17 equities trading positions, or 2% of its equities headcount as part of “periodic culling.” Given that equities revenues at Jefferies fell by around 99% year-on-year in the first quarter, there may be more cuts to come.
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