If you want to work in an investment bank, chances are that you want to work in the so-called ‘front office.’ – That you want to do sales and trading, or M&A, or capital markets. – Something that might, one day, allow you to communicate with external clients and allow you to earn the sorts of high six figure sums mostly commonly associated with banking careers.
It’s notable, therefore, that if you’re a native Briton working in the City of London you’re comparatively less likely to do this kind of exciting banking job. Instead, you’re comparatively more likely to do the sorts of operations jobs that the very best banking candidates tend to avoid.
We looked at CVs uploaded by London-based candidates into the eFinancialCareers CV database over the past year. In total, 59% were from individuals stating that UK-English is their first language – suggesting that 41% of people in the City are non-Britons.
Most importantly, CVs belonging to native British candidates appear disproportionately focused in sectors like operations, compliance and global custody, none of which tend to top candidates’ wish lists. By comparison, Britons are comparatively less likely to be registered in popular front office sectors like trading, M&A and research (although they’re comparatively populous in equities).
The comparatively poor showing of British bankers in front office roles follows finance recruiters’ complaints that Britons are monolingual and lazy. It also has implications in the event of a ‘Brexit’: who will do all the research, M&A and trading jobs in the City when the Europeans go?
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