According to a new poll of the British populace, 52% of British voters think curbing migration is more important than maintaining access to the EU single market as the country negotiates Brexit. That’s bad for the City of London. It’s also blinkered given the City’s reliance upon non-Britons to feed its appetite for the best and the brightest of each generation.
Banks’ front office London analyst classes are a case in point. Based upon our analysis of a representative sample of 35 2016 analysts at Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, Citi and BAML, the nationality split in the 2016 analyst class looks a little like this:
In other words, fewer than half of banks’ most junior hires in London come from the UK. And those Britons are mostly at British banks like HSBC and Barclays.
What’s really notable, however, is that even the ‘British students’ who have been UK educated and gone on to join banks in London often have dual nationality or an international background. Examples include Lenny Michel, who graduated with a first class degree from Warwick and a Masters from Cambridge but is also a German native speaker and attended the British school in Warsaw, or Anam Zaman, who graduated with a first class degree from University College London, but grew up in the Middle East and speaks native Pashto.
“The thing about working in banking in London is that you meet people from across the world,” says one junior who recently left Citi. “That’s what makes it so amazing.”
Despite reports of non-British bankers contemplating careers outside the UK after the referendum result, the overseas analysts in this year’s class said London remains their preferred place to start a career: “I love London and will stay here for a while. This is unrelated to my job and my opinion will remain despite the Referendum,” said one.