Former Investment Banker: ‘I Saw Many People Cry’

There are some great anonymous weblogs out there about life in finance. We met for a coffee and several healthy breakfast time in South Kensington. Using the big redundancies the bank is required to announce that it’ll be curtains for some. At least you expect it. One redundancy round went such as this: a senior banker would call his PA and have her to walk to the victim and also have them grab a specific line on the phone.

Then the victim was asked to quietly collect their personal items – the others would be delivered by post – and come up to a particular room. So we’d there sit, and listen to the PA’s mobile phone ring. One time I collected my things beforehand, in case just, because I needed acquired a bad discussion with my line supervisor a few weeks prior really. That point the PA headed straight for me.

I started getting up when she put her hand on my shoulder: ‘You’re cool.’ Component of me was expecting it would be me. As if I needed someone else to unchain me. After being made redundant it’s easier for junior bankers to jump back again. I launched a few businesses after bank and the skills gained earlier came in really handy.

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For senior men it’s different. They’re looking to squeeze into a pyramid where there are extremely few areas. Plus, they have grown to be hardwired in a particular way. I recall one global mind who pointed out he was thinking of introducing a start-up with a pal or two and would ‘get their hands just a little filthy’.

I keep in mind laughing inside. He couldn’t function a minute without his PA there to carry his papers, hands him a tissues when he had food stuck to his lips, pay his children’s college fees and buy a birthday gift for his wife. You’d have stickfights about who sacrificed most. This Italian chap got just been fired.

He was generously given a couple weeks to hang out and try to find a role in another department. So I see him confront a managing director. At one point he tells the MD he was so focused on the work he even missed his grandmother’s funeral to work on a deal. The MD quickly retorts: ‘I skipped my father-in-law’s funeral! You get the kindest guys and the most heartless bastards.

Like anywhere else. However the environment changes attitudes and behaviour. You’re far too immersed in a world motivated by making money with money never to change, little however. You need to just work at it to remain grounded actively. You’re focusing on billion-dollar deals, for a company that spends more income on stationery than some ongoing companies make in income.

The big banks are worlds unto themselves and you’re a – short-term – citizen. Their logos are your country flag, their motto your nationwide anthem. There’s a lottery component to it all. The lucky ones sign up for top teams from the start, the way some people are born into rich families.