Investment banks are all about keeping their restless 27-year-olds happy. First they modified junior bankers' working hours. Then they promoted them to associate after two years instead of three. Then they offered them the opportunity to take time out volunteering in Kenya (or at least, Citi did). Now, Citi appears to be offering at least one junior in London the chance to be a visiting academic at his alma mater whilst working for its investment banking division as an associate.
The junior in question is a member of Citi's combined consumer, retail and healthcare team in London. He graduated from the Masters in Management Programme at ESCP-EAP Europe in 2013. Now he's back at ESCP one day a week, lecturing students studying the school's specialist masters in biopharmaceutical management on the intricacies of healthcare corporate finance.
Is this a new thing at Citi? The bank didn't respond to our query. The associate in question declined to comment and requested that his name remain anonymous.
It's not unheard of for bankers to move into academia. Ferdinand Petra, a former J.P. Morgan associate and Barclays vice president, is now an affiliate professor of finance at HEC Paris. Alex Edmans, a professor of finance at the London Business School, began his career at Morgan Stanley. Peter Hahn, a professor of banking at the London Institute of banking and finance and former lecturer at Cass, was once a managing director in corporate finance at Citi. Banking to academia is a known path.
It is unusual, though, for junior bankers to work in academia whilst also working in banking. And it's not likely to be easy juggling weekly lectures with working on live deals.
Could this be the start of a trend? Maybe, but it's only likely to appeal to associates who relish working long hours in banking and spending long hours of their own time preparing lecture materials. After Edmans left banking, he made a Youtube video saying that he wasn't committed enough to work in finance: he liked reading the Financial Times, but he wanted to switch off at weekends. Junior bankers who combine finance and academia will get very little time to switch off at all.
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