As a rule of thumb, you can be out of the market for six months before your finance career shrivels and dies and you're relegated to a life of mentoring millennials whilst trading in your underpants. There are exceptions, though, and one of them appears to be equity research. If you're a manager of an equity research team, you can be out of the market for sometime without denting your employability.
Rufus Grantham is the latest senior equity researcher to demonstrate this reality. Grantham, who last worked in equity research for Nomura in March 2013, has just joined RBC Capital markets in London as deputy head of research for Europe.
What was Grantham up to in the intervening years? His CV reveals a richly eclectic blend of activities entirely unrelated to markets: he was CFO for a company that gauges people's emotional reactions to videos, he was a business mentor for a creative digital marketing agency, and he carried on running an events and bar management company which he founded back in 2006.
Grantham isn't the only equity research deputy head to take a career break. As we reported in May, Bill Dale, the former deputy head of research for Nomura, spent 13 years out of the industry making films before taking the Nomura role. "I came back into a management role in equity research more than a decade after I’d left. If anything this was easier than going in as an industry specialist – the industries would have changed, but the people hadn’t," Dale told us five months ago. He got his second chance because a former colleague from Warburg was running research at Nomura and wanted a deputy he knew and trusted.
Grantham didn't immediately respond to our enquiry about his new role. RBC's head of European equity research is thought to be Graeme Pearson, whose deputy Grantham was at Nomura - the two men left at the same time. It's not clear whether RBC will hiring other equity researchers in Europe (it doesn't appear to have any vacancies for the moment.) In the meantime, if you want to get to know Grantham you could frequent the Hide Bar in Bermondsey, or Demon Wise and Partners and the Arbitrager, both in Throgmorton Street.