Cycling is a big thing among investment bankers right now. The potential to spend thousands on designer bicycles, or upwards of £175 on a jersey alone is appealing to affluent professionals looking for an outlet to keep fit and keep up with their peers.
For Franck Triolaire, the former head of inflation trading at Morgan Stanley in London, the passion for cycling is something he’s trying to take one step further. Triolaire has spent the past four months cycling in the French Alps and presently has no plans to make a return to banking for the moment.
“I’d like to do more cycling in a regular way, but I keep receiving contacts from people in the market asking me to stay in the loop,” he tells us.
So far, his tours have included scaling Le Mont Ventoux and some rides near Lyon and Provence, he tells us, but the “unpredictable weather” in France affected his plans to do more.
Triolaire has been working in inflation trading since joining BNP Paribas in 2004. He stayed at the bank for eight years, eventually making it to head of inflation trading for Europe and Asia. He signed up to Morgan Stanley as head of inflation trading in March 2012 and left in May this year.
Triathlons, ultra-marathons and long-haul cycling events hold an appeal to people working in the financial sector, even those who trying to combine 70-hour weeks with a gruelling training schedule. Financial services professionals account for around 30% of competitors in ultra-marathons, even if the vast majority stand little chance of making the elite band of competitors.
Some, such as Meredith Kessler, who quit her job at RBC Capital Markets to become a professional triathlete in 2010, have made the leap, however: “I mapped out an income plan, figured out additional ways to earn cash, and created a business plan to reach my financial goals. This took almost a year of juggling working full time and racing as a pro before I made the move to full time pro,” she told us previously.
For most, however, cycling remains a chance to keep fit and indulge a mid-life crisis by shelling out upwards of £7,000 on brands like Pinarello or Cervélo bikes. Clive O’Connell, partner at lawyers Goldberg Segalla and avid cyclist, describes it as “a world of cycle porn”.
“The bikes themselves can cost as much as a small car, but this is less of a mid-life crisis than buying an expensive sports car. Then there’s the potential for GPS equipment to track your progress, custom-made outfits and paying for support vehicles for your own private club races,” he said previously.
There’s also the career benefits – golf days are being consigned to the past in favour of long cycles around the home counties during the weekend. It’s considered a great way to network with other financial services professionals.