A Citi analyst is allegedly charging students $6k for advice

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Banker charging students for advice

Want some help with directions? It will cost you

If you're an analyst in a front office job with an investment bank, you're probably doing pretty well for yourself. Emolument.com, the real time salary benchmarking site, puts the median and salary and bonus for a front office analyst in London at £57k ($72k). Bernstein Research says analysts in banks earn starting salaries three times higher than those who go into other professions. Comparatively, therefore, 22 year-olds in finance are "rich," but at least one seemingly doesn't feel rich enough....

A student at one of the UK's top universities claims an analyst on the trading floor at Citigroup is monetizing his position by charging eager students for interviews and informational sessions. The analyst's going rate is reportedly between £5k and £7.5k ($6k to $10k) for advice on presentation skills and working in the industry. "This was just in response to me asking for an interview with him!," the student complains, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Citi declined to comment on the allegations in the absence of validation of the claim or further information on the analysts' identity. The student declined to provide additional information.

If true, the allegations suggest that at least one junior banker has struck upon a potentially rich seam of additional income (albeit one that is not sanctioned by banks and could lose him his job). Applicants to investment banks typically outnumber places in a ratio of around 40 or 50 to one, meaning anyone already on the inside has potentially valuable information to impart to all those trying to get in.

This wouldn't be the first time bankers have charged handsomely for advice on penetrating the industry, although most do so after leaving rather than whilst still employed. Muzaffar Khan, a former Barclays trader and London School of Economics graduate, once offered students advice as a "success coach." Peter Harrison, a former executive director at Goldman Sachs, provides students with advice on presentation skills and applications in return for an upfront fee, plus 12% of a student's first year salary (if successful). 

Whether most students can afford to pay this kind of money is open to question, however.  In 2012, Magali McIntyre, a former M&A banker at Lehman Brothers, set up a website enabling experienced bankers to offer students coaching and application advice for £300 an hour. It closed down in 2015.

If you've experienced analysts charging you for advice, please get in touch at the email address below. 

Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

Photo credit: Wrong Direction by Ivan Rigamonti is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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