Analysts in investment banks are more highly qualified than the managing directors in charge of them. We know this because the CVs loaded into the eFinancialCareers CV database say so: last time we looked (in October 2015), analysts were more likely than MDs to have both a Masters in Finance and a CFA qualification. Anecdotally, many MDs in investment banks say they wouldn't get in if they applied now.
Yesterday, Carlyle Group's David Rubenstein helped explain why.
"In my era (the 1970s), the absolutely best students went to medical school," Rubenstein said. "Doctors were like gods. The second best students went on to do a PhD. The third best students went to law school. The fourth best went into a family business. And the fifth best went on to do an MBA."
In the era when today's most senior bankers and finance executives were cutting their teeth, finance careers therefore didn't get a look-in. And only the least intelligent students did MBAs (Rubenstein himself went to law school.)
In some ways, things may not have changed that much. A recent study of students at MIT found the least intelligent and most social were opting for finance careers.
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