Do you work in finance? Are you tall, green-eyed and of above average intelligence? If so, you may want to donate your gametes. You would not be the first.
Data from the London Sp*rm Bank (LSB) reveals that finance workers are some of the most prolific spreaders of their seed. On average, 36 finance professionals visit the bank every month. This puts them on a par with students, and compares to donations from just three chefs and six film makers. Only IT managers are more keen (45 a month, on average).
Dr. Kamal Ahuja, managing director of the LSB says finance professionals are frequent visitors to the Bridge Centre near London’s Tower Bridge. Gamete donors aren’t paid in the UK, but the clinic offers £35 ($56) to cover any costs. Ahuja says a lot of the bankers who visit refuse the payment. “They want to donate and to make a gesture – like blood donors. Some of them have seen the effects of infertility and want to help.”
Ahuja cites one particular investment banking donor who has made ten separate donations (the maximum allowed under British rules) and has consistently declined to be compensated. “Because of his personal wealth, he doesn’t care for the money. He has helped to create ten families.”
Male bankers’ apparent enthusiasm for gamete distribution is useful. Ahuja and others say female bankers in their 40s are big users of donated sp*rm and that they like to select donors they have an affinity with.
“Female bankers are more fussy and selective than other people when they’re choosing donor gametes,” says Andrew Berkley, director at City Fertility. Ahuja agrees: “Female bankers are extremely interested in determining the intellect and profession of their donors.”
City Fertility is located near Smithfields Market. Berkley says they’ve dealt with 80-100 female bankers so far this year, mostly in their early to mid-40s. Many come for IVF treatment. But when women reach 45+, Berkley says he discourages them from using their own eggs and encourages the use of donor eggs instead. In this instance, he says female bankers are fussy too. On at least one occasion, Berkley claims older female bankers have selected eggs donated by younger women who are starting out in the finance industry. The fee for egg donation in the UK is typically around £750.
47-year old ex-Lehman CFO Erin Callan is among those who’ve had a finance career and are now trying to conceive. Callan married a former high school classmate and retired New York City firefighter in 2007, shortly before she left the bank. In this sense, she may be fortunate – another ex-Lehman high flier says the real problem for women in banking is finding a good man. “It’s not fertility, but finding a partner that’s a problem,” she says. Fortunately, donors 103 or 199 are waiting to help out.