There's a reason people retire to Florida. - It's warm all year round, the beaches are beautiful and the taxes there are low. If you can get past the hurricanes, it can be a sort of paradise.
Deutsche Bank's Jacksonville office has its own share of these upsides and downsides. Jacksonville beach is miles of white sand, but the city was badly hit by the recent hurricane Irma and the DB office in the city was closed as a result. Even so, hurricanes may be the least of Deutsche Jacksonville staff's worries.
Last year we reported that Deutsche's Florida office was known for having "unusually nice people." One year on, it seems those nice people have a few gripes. Bloomberg reports that it's fine to work in Jacksonville if you're in the middle or back office, but that front office people there are unhappy. Bloomberg spoke to several who complained of low revenue clients (who were pinched by colleagues in New York if they were turned into high revenue ones), of lower pay than promised, of fewer career opportunities than expected, of restricted travel budgets and therefore little face-time with New York managers who controlled bonuses, and of the need for New York colleagues to place trades for them - which often happened only after a delay.
To some extent these concerns are simply those of the near-shored employee at any bank: staff at J.P. Morgan in Bournemouth or Morgan Stanley in Glasgow typically have similar thoughts about visibility and career progression. But while J.P.M's Bournemouth office and Morgan Stanley's Glasgow office are focused on technology, Jacksonville has higher-maintenance front office types. Deutsche has a similar set-up in Birmingham in the UK and there have been quiet rumblings of complaint there too.
What to do about it? If you're Deutsche Bank, the answer seems to be not much. The German bank has been near-shoring sales trading jobs for years and a few complaints aren't going to stop it, particularly now that new boss Christian Sewing is doubly determined to cut costs. Despite the Jacksonville departures, Bloomberg reports that Sewing plans to double Deutsche's headcount there to 200 people within an unspecified time frame.
If you're an unhappy front office Deutsche Banker in Jacksonville, you can clearly vote with your feet - although Bloomberg says there are few other similar job opportunities nearby. Or you can suck it up and go along with it. There are advantages to being in Deutsche's Florida outpost - when the bank sponsored a tent at the Players Championship, a golf tournament hosted near Jacksonville last summer, it was intended as a treat for clients. However, Bloomberg says DB has so few clients nearby that its Jacksonville employees were the main beneficiaries of its hospitality instead.
Separately, now's the time to be a machine learning quant working for a hedge fund. The Financial Times has been speaking to people like Richard Wu, a quantitative research analyst intern at hedge fund Citadel, who speak of a laid back vibe which appears to be overlaid by generous pay. "My team is flexible on when I come in and what I wear to work, as long as it’s not a T-shirt and shorts,” says Wu. “As long as you get your work done, the hours are probably the same as tech." Elsewhere in the same article, the FT says big data and analytics quants are being paid $150k ($116k) straight out of university.
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