Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Posh Bankers, Essex

Still desperate for a writing career at Green All Over, Tony Stephens is back with another free contribution:

"And many traders who work in the City enjoy betting in their spare time, be it on shares, horses or football. After all, the Cheltenham Festival, racing’s most lucrative week, is dominated by those who work in the Square Mile."
Most of the traders that I've worked with in the city when in my 20/30's I wouldn't now call traders. Providing the "traders" their liquidity positions, I had a fair amount of interaction with them. I much preferred working with the accountants to be honest. Some of my drinking friends worked on the FX desks and knew from school days. I wouldn't be surprised if most of them didn't even get a GCSE in maths. They would have the gift of the gab for sure (handy for getting info from the brokers) and would regularly get involved in spread betting, often whilst down the pub! Would I be surprised that overpaid "traders" get involved in gambling...
Tony's recollections of the City are similar to mine, although mine date back to the 1980s and the days of the Big Bang - the financial Big Bang before any smart-arse readers suggest I might date back to the cosmological Big Bang. 

Back then, as the Financial Times described it:
The old City of London was stereotypically split between the posh folk who ran the merchant banks and the Essex lads who worked on the floor of the London Stock Exchange or for market-makers and brokers. The latter did not literally push barrows around but they were country cousins to those at London’s meat, fish and produce markets who did.
Nice of them to clarify that the "Essex lads" didn't "literally" push barrows! 

Back in those halcyon days of the 1980s, it would have been an 'O' level in Maths rather than one of these newfangled GCSE things, but as Tony says, most seem come by their jobs not by any academic qualifications, but through word of mouth. Supporting West 'am probably didn't hurt either - amazing how low some people will stoop for a job...

1 comment:

Tony Stephens said...

In my first interview I did get asked what football team I supported. I confidently answered West Ham. The guy that asked me said "well I support Millwall". Christ knows how I got the job!