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The pay is fine, the work is not. Junior bankers are complaining of drudgery.

Morning Coffee: Junior bankers bemoan extremely boring jobs. Barclays denies weirdness

Everyone knows you work hard as a junior banker, but what do you actually do? In theory, you're out there on the bleeding edge of capitalism, helping shape the global economy. In reality, it seems you're there until 2am copying and pasting logos into a PowerPoint presentation that may never see the light of day.

The Wall Street Journal has spoken to "more than 40" current and former analysts and associates at investment banks, and says they are not pleased. Steve Wu, a former analyst at Moelis & Co, complains that he found himself working past 1am replacing all the logos in a client presentation because they were "fuzzy." Lee Tsai, a former associate at J.P. Morgan, complains he was set easy goals in his annual review and that when he requested something more dynamic he was afflicted with the, “same spreadsheets, same pricing models, same slides.”  Lucy Kellaway at the Financial Times, has come across something similar. Kellaway cites the example of one peevish millennial, possibly at Goldman Sachs, who had, "had just spent four months working on a deck of 250 PowerPoint slides no one would ever read."

Three disgruntled 23 year-olds don't constitute a trend, but the WSJ thinks it's onto something. It cites research from LinkedIn suggesting that analysts and associates are now quitting banks like Goldman Sachs after 17 months, whereas 10 years ago they stayed for 30. Senior bankers are seemingly struggling to deal with their demanding young staff. One the most popular training courses at Goldman Sachs is "Managing Millennials."

John Waldron, co-head of Goldman's investment banking division (IBD) told the WSJ that experienced bankers who put in 80 hour weeks during their own analyst and associate years are irked at new initiatives to retain juniors by cutting weekend working hours.  Mid-level bankers, "can sometimes get frustrated if the younger analyst isn’t as available as they want them to be,” said Waldron. “Just because other people worked 80 to 100 hours [each week] in their life history doesn’t mean these people should.”

Separately, the Sunday Times reported that Jes Staley has been preparing a survey in which employees at Barclays investment bank are asked if they have any friends. This sounds weird. CityAm says Barclays has no knowledge of this survey whatsoever.


Lloyd Blankfein's daughter was an intern at Goldman Sachs last summer. (WSJ) 

"We have increased the number of analysts, associates and vice presidents at the firm by 17 percent since the beginning of 2012, while our partner and managing director populations have decreased by two percent." (Goldman Sachs)

Some banks, Goldman included, are expected to post their worst results for 10 years for the first quarter. (Reuters)

Andrea Orcel at UBS says the year is "shaping up to be quite difficult." (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs paid Lloyd Blankfein $22.6 million for 2015, his first pay cut in four years. (IB Times) 

53 year-old Derek Bandeen, global head of equities at Citigroup, has "decided to retire". (Bloomberg) 

56 year-old Brady Dougan is planning to launch his very own advisory boutique. (WSJ)

The ex-head of spot FX trading at BNP Paribas is suing the bank for dismissing him as a whistleblower. (Bloomberg) 

Live in London, spend 35% of your income on rent. (Bloomberg)  

You probably can't be a politician if you're financially successful: voters don't like it. (The Independent)

Interview question at Google: "How would you make money from an ice-cream stand in Central Park?" (Business Insider) 

Conscientiousness is an important predictor of success — but intelligence and socioeconomic background are equally or even more important. (NY Times) 

Banker becomes elaborately-dressed Finnish rap artist. (Italsamomat) 

Photo credit: Blah Blah Blah by Victoria Pickering is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Di
    Disgruntled driver
    11 April 2016

    Yeah its boring. They need to use their alleged tech savoir faire to automate content for those PPTs, since no one has support staff anymore. And forget asking the IT department - I mean you need primary knowledge of relevant systems or have people skills to leverage the right people to help you access data and systems to automate feeds into PPT or other reports.

    I used to be the one receiving the requests for last minute pitches at 4:15 on Friday, due on Monday. After too many years of this, I can say without hesitation that this is because so many business developers/client relationship managers don't know how to manage their contacts/clients/leads. No pitch document is a substitute for developing a relationship that will translate into a sale. And no one gives a hoot because we all had our different but equally irritating crosses to bear as young people. Its the price of admission so you can lead from experience.

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