If you're a 40 something trader at a major U.S. bank and you're a bit apprehensive about your future, you might want to look at the career path of Dan Steeds, a former emerging markets trader at J.P. Morgan.
Steeds' career went very smoothly for two decades. He joined J.P. M in September 1995 after graduating from London's City University, and worked for the bank in London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong for 20 years. Then however, he was reportedly cut by J.PMorgan in February 2016. Since that time things have been a bit more erratic.
Despite his wealth of experience, Steeds' LinkedIn profile suggests it took him seven months to choose a new job post-J.P.M (although we understand this may be because he was making the most of his time off!). He then went to Cantor Fitzgerald, which as we reported last month, has been in the process of seriously shrinking its headcount in London. Steeds joined Cantor in September 2016 and left voluntarily six months later in February 2017. This was followed by another long period (seven months) out of the market while he spent time with his family and took the time to find the right role.
The good news is that Steeds has now found something else. Just as Credit Suisse recently hired Jamil Hallak, an ex-Haitong and ex-Deutsche MD for its emerging markets business, so Steeds has just joined SocGen. He's arrived in the French bank's emerging markets business as a director.
Although Steeds is by far the most experienced of the two men, he and Hallak have distinct similarities. Both started out in big banks and moved to ill-fated roles in small brokerages (Haitong has cut its London headcount by 67%) for around six months. Both spent some time at home or travelling before being picked up again by big banks.
If you're an experienced trader who's looking for a new job, Steeds and Hallak suggest now's the time to get lucky. Large banks looking to fill holes are more likely to hire people off the streets at this time of year because laid off traders don't have bonuses to buy-out.
Steeds' story also has deeper implications. Not long ago, a trader who'd spent 20 years at J.P. Morgan would choose to retire to the golf course or a west country pub. This no longer seems the case. While Steeds had the luxury of taking his time to choose an appropriate new role, it still seems that today's traders either want to keep working into their 40s, or they have to. Many are opting for the lure of smaller brokerage firms which typically pay all cash bonuses, but jobs in these places can be less secure - and less pleasant - than working for banks.
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Photo credit: 4 - The Rocky Road by Liam Moloney is licensed under CC BY 2.0.