If you’re an investment banker in Paris, Frankfurt or Milan and you’re thinking of moving to London for the glitz, glamour, and weather, don’t. A new blog in the Guardian suggests that investment banking careers in the City of London aren’t nearly as heavy on excitement as people from more provincial financial centres might suppose.
Joris Luyendijk, the writer and journalist who has been interviewing anonymous bankers on behalf of the Guardian, spoke to a derivatives trader who is not a British national and started his career in a continental European financial centre. The trader said that moving to London is good from a career perspective, but that there are also several serious downsides to working in the City. In London, he said finance is not just a job but a lifestyle and a mentality – in northern Europe, “working in finance did not set you apart from society.”
The biggest difference identified by the trader is in the people. In smaller European financial centres, he told Luyendijk that bankers are less pretentious than in London: “Where I worked in northern Europe, people conceal their wealth. Ostentatious behaviour is socially unacceptable. There isn’t any discrimination towards the back office. Seniors don’t make juniors get food orders.”
Compared to bankers in Continental Europe, the trader suggested that London bankers are akin to pretentious Japanese salarymen – elitist and forced to socialize with their bosses just to keep their jobs. “In London if you don’t join your mates for a drink after work, it can be seen as a signal of disinterest. There’s a big culture of spending and splashing out,” he said. Couple this with lower job security in London, and with London bankers’ unwillingness to take full holiday allocations for fear of appearing uncommitted, and Paris suddenly looks quite appealing.
Separately, the Wall Street Journal reiterates that J.P. Morgan is on a big mission to increase its regulatory staff. A new ‘Oversight and Control Group’ started next year, is due to have its staff doubled in 2013, says the WSJ. Rather than fill all the new positions with hiring, however, J.P. Morgan is reportedly shifting hundreds of staff into compliance from other areas.
JPMorgan has been fined for keeping poor client records. (Fox Business)
Financial regulators are full of gay people, says gay product controller. (Guardian)
Senior RBS bankers only received a third of their bonus entitlement from 2010 as they failed to meet targets. (Guardian)
Three years ago, Dimon called succession his “number-one priority.” (WSJ)
“We picked up so much sexual activity on the cameras, after midnight, that it was a liability to have the videotape in our possession,“ a partner at a big US law firm explained. (Businessweek)