This was spotted by Matt Levine at Bloomberg and originally ran on NPR, so we’re presenting it to you kind of third hand. Nonetheless, it makes for interesting reading if you’re hoping to work in financial services and don’t have an especially wealthy family background.
NPR crunched some numbers in the U.S. and found that people with financial services careers have some of the richest family backgrounds. In fact, the only people with richer family backgrounds are lawyers and judges.
The average family income during childhood of a financial analyst or advisor was $80k-$86k (£48k-£51k) according to NPR. For today’s lawyer or judge, it was $85k-$90k. Ok, that’s not rich by banking standards, but it’s top of the scale across the economy as a whole. And if you work in forestry or fishing now, the chances are that your combined parental income in childhood was just $35k. Such is the power of nepotism and expectation.
Of course, there are always exceptions: Lloyd Blankfein’s father was a clerk with the US postal service and he’s said specifically that Goldman likes to recruit people from challenging backgrounds because they don’t have a sense of entitlement. Not everyone in finance has a rich family, it seems.