Just as corporate finance divisions lose junior staff to private equity funds and sales, and trading divisions lose them to hedge funds, so big banks' technology divisions are also at risk of suffering seepage of their own. - Why work in technology for an investment bank when you could be doing something more exciting in an fintech start-up? Equally, why work for an investment bank when you can do something bigger and better in the retail banking sector?
Rofiya Hussain, a former associate in Goldman Sachs' technology division, illustrates the allure of both alternatives. In 2014, Hussain graduated from the UK's Warwick University with a Masters in Physics. Four years later, she's just joined Bó, the trendy new mobile bank set up by Natwest which is named after the Danish word 'to live.' There she will be a 'product owner' - although which product Hussain will own is not clear, and she did not respond to a request to elaborate.
Hussain only spent three years at Goldman Sachs, but her career reads like a guide to how quickly you can progress in tech if you only spend a few years in an investment bank before quitting and leveraging your CV elsewhere. At Goldman, Hussain worked in UX and as a scrum manager and product owner (again). Immediately after leaving Goldman, she spent 18 months at Virgin Digital. Despite being a mere associate at GS, at Virgin she was head of payments and cards.
Hussain is just one case, but if you're Goldman Sachs you might want to take note. It's not just fintechs that are after your junior technology staff, but the technology divisions of retail banks too - some of which can offer more exciting job titles and ostensibly more exciting jobs. Bó, which currently employs a core of around 30+ staff in the UK, is pitching itself as a rival to Monzo, Revolut (set up by an ex-Morgan Stanley trader) and Starling Bank. By comparison, climbing the technology ladder at Goldman Sachs might seem rather boring.
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