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Non, top French schools are not a certain route to a top banking job in London

French schools City of London

A top French finance education will not necessarily set you apart in London

If you’ve studied at HEC, Essec, EDHEC, ESCP, École Centrale, or Paris-Dauphine, you might think you’re a sure-thing for a big job at a big bank in London. After all, recent figures from Emolument.com suggested that 100% of École Centrale graduates working in Paris or London are in the front office, along with 87% and 73% of EDHEC and ESSEC graduates respectively.

Bad luck.

Our own figures suggest that France’s top schools are by no means a highway to a top finance job in the City of London. Nor are they particularly likely to get you a job with a major US bank in the City – although they might get you into a French bank’s UK office.

Based on CVs loaded into our UK CV database over the past year, these are the percentages of people in each sector who’ve studied at Essec or HEC or ESCP or École Centrale or Dauphine.

Percentage of London CVs from French school

And these are the percentages of people who’ve worked at top banks in London and studied at leading French educational establishments.

CVs by bank for french schools

In other words, France’s finest finance colleges might well get you a job at Natixis in London. They could also get you a job in SocGen and BNP Paribas, but alumni look sparse at top US banks in the City. They also look far less prevalent in areas like derivatives trading than urban myth would have us believe…


Comments (2)

  1. Interesting to see this. One difference, however, between ESCP Europe and the others is that we are not only French and have been in the UK for over 40 years. We bring a lot of students from all over Europe to our London campus and are therefore well-placed for them to get jobs as interns and graduates in financial institutions. Additionally, even where the French overall may be in low numbers, we have very senior people in the likes of JP Morgan, HSBC and other non-French institutions.

    Finally, a couple of trends: increasing numbers going into smaller ’boutique’ outfits and also more leaving banking etc to start their own businesses, ranging from parcel delivery to healthy fast food outlets.

  2. I have no opinion on the matter, but there is a methodology issue: You cannot demonstrate that it is difficult to get a job in the city when graduated from a french school with your data (percentage of city employees coming from French schools). You would have to show the percentage of French schools total alumni population with a job in the city.

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