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When Vince Iyoriobhe joined Bank of America’s Investment Banking Division in 2017 as a rookie analyst, he planned to stay long enough to gain the experience needed to pursue his dream career in a different corner of finance – personal equity.
“I knew banking was going to be difficult,” he said. Iyoriobhe, 26. But his attitude was, “I’ll do it in two years and then move on to another.”
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For decades, investment banking – the task of advising large companies on their most important needs – has been one of the most prestigious careers on Wall Street, glorified in bestsellers in the 1980s by writers such as Tom Wolfe and Michael Lewis. Thousands of young hopefuls apply each year for the opportunity to start careers at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Salomon Brothers and other banks as analysts-entry-level positions that teach aspiring financiers how to build financial models and evaluate companies.
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He completed long working hours and ground work in exchange for the prestige of a job that eventually paid him millions. Next, each class of analysts provides banks with a reliable talent channel.
But recent college graduates are still reluctant to put themselves through a strenuous two -year analyst program, despite starting salaries that could reach $ 160,000. This is especially true as careers in technology and other parts of the finance world promise better hours and more flexibility. The pandemic, which is forcing many people to evaluate work-life balance, only reinforces that thinking. Others, like Mr. Iyoriobhe – who spends 90 hours a week at Bank of America, sometimes just going home for a shower – are willing to do it with a minimum of time to put in a resume. He currently works at a private equity firm.
“It’s like going through a bootcamp,” said Ben Chon, a 27 -year -old businessman whose YouTube video about leaving his job as a health banker at JPMorgan Chase’s San Francisco office, posted in February, has more than 100 collections. , 000 views.
Mr Chon said he respected everything he had learned as an analyst, but added: “You can’t control your lifestyle, and you work even if you don’t want to.”
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The number of applicants for the banking analyst program is difficult to track, but data from business schools, which captured a somewhat older cohort of potential financiers, shows a big decline in interest in investment banking. Last year, the top five U.S. business schools sent an average of 7 percent of graduates from the Master of Business Administration program to a full investment bankroll, down from 9 percent in 2016. The decline is spoken of at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where they bank. in 2020 there are 12 percent of the MBA cohort, compared to more than a fifth of the class a decade earlier. Harvard only delivers 3 percent of its 2020 class.
In a recent Instagram survey on the “Millennial Career Polls” site, conducted by a former investment banker who wanted to start a platform to help young professionals navigate careers, 79 percent of 139 respondents said they thought banking would be an unwanted option. career in the future from when they were there. And in February, 13 analysts at Goldman showed their superiors a PowerPoint presentation that brutally described the long hours and their declining health.
“Loss of sleep, treatment by a senior banker, mental and physical stress … I’ve been breastfeeding and this could have been worse,” said one unnamed analyst surveyed in the presentation.
“The industry isn’t as attractive” as it used to be, “said Rob Dicks, an advisor at Accenture, which specializes in recruiting financial services. The message was, ‘Banks know best, we have a model to do this, and you’re going to adapt to that model.’
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Although top executives at the largest banks recently talked about the need for employees to return to the office, many are ignoring the complaints of the youngest employees. Goldman CEO David Solomon said in an earnings call this month that the company will pay more competitively and increase rewards for performance. Goldman also maintained an unenforceable rule on Saturday. JPMorgan is rolling out technology to automate some aspects of analysts ’work, and recently hired more than 200 additional junior bankers to ease the pressure in a particularly busy year.
Analysts for first -year investment bankers in New York can earn $ 160,000 per year, including bonuses, according to estimates by Wall Street Prep, a company that helps train prospective bankers for the industry. But some companies, including Citigroup, Bank of America, JPMorgan and Barclays, are increasing the salaries of junior bankers. Credit Suisse paid what it described internally as a $ 20,000 “lifestyle bonus” to younger bankers.
Jefferies, another investment bank, even offered Peloton bikes, Apple Watches and other perquisites to thank more than 1,100 analysts and associations – the next rank – for their hard work during the pandemic. Jefferies employees “have gotten us through the most difficult period we’ve had in our careers,” Rich Handler, the bank’s CEO, and Brian Friedman, its president, wrote in a July 1 letter to staff and clients.
Still, banks tend to rise to the work culture created in the 1980s, when Mr. Wolfe’s “The Bonfire of the Vanities” is remembered by Wall Street as the home of the “master of the universe.” Young analysts work around the clock, take coffee and food orders for teams, undertake thoughtless tasks such as sending trading cards, and they experience jokes and verbal abuse. In return, they gained a foothold in one of the most lucrative careers available, while new products such as bonds created by mortgages and corporate mergers and acquisitions provided enormous profits.
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Carlos Hernandez, right, a JPMorgan executive who entered investment banking during its heyday in the 1980s, with the company’s chief executive officer, Jamie Dimon, in 2015. Credit … Lucas Jackson / Reuters
Some of the toughest hitters of the day in banking started in their heyday, including John Waldron, president of Goldman Sachs; Sharon Yeshaya, Morgan Stanley’s new Chief Financial Officer; and Carlos Hernandez, Executive Vice President of Investment and Corporate Banking at JPMorgan.
Banks lost much of their appeal after the 2008 financial crisis, when Silicon Valley soared, and private equity firms changed from small partnerships to asset management giants. Newer career options have the potential to promise faster and bigger payouts, better hours, higher business missions and benefits like taking pets to the office. For young graduates, the role of a bank analyst seems to be honed in order to be viable, at least in the long run.
In recent years, recruiters for giant private equity firms such as Carlyle and Blackstone, which manage billions of dollars for clients and also buy companies, have begun consulting with analysts even before starting work.
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Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America, says this isn’t necessarily bad. “He’s a very talented kid, especially in the investment banking arena,” he told Bloomberg TV this month. “And there’s a lot of personal equity deals and other things that are trained for clients, and that’s good.”
“The technology sector has completely changed the game,” said Jamie Lee, 37, who worked in banking before starting a venture capital firm earlier this year. “The opportunity cost is just so high to stay in a job that you don’t get the treatment you want.”
Jamie Lee in 2014 with his father, Jimmy, a top banker at JP Morgan, who advised his son to take an analyst job. Credit … Jamie Lee
His father, Mr. Lee, JPMorgan banker Jimmy Lee, was one of the most prominent players in the field for decades, advising companies such as Facebook and General Motors before his death in 2015. But when Mr. Lee graduated college in the mid-2000s, his father asking for no analyst program.
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“He said,‘ Honestly, J, the way I see these kids working, I’m not sure I want you, ’” Mr Lee recalled.
More compensation may not be enough for many young workers, whose cuts only highlight aspects of poor investment banking – even if other careers bow to better -home work policies.
Armen Panossian, an emerging senior at Rutgers University, is an intern in the logistics division of energy company BP and hopes to get a similar full-time role after college. He said the funding was part of his motivation to pursue 9 to 5 jobs that were financially based.
Eden Luvishis, a 20 -year finance, computer science and math student at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, wants to work in fintech but would consider becoming an engineer at a large bank – a career that could marry him. interest in finance in a more predictable way of working.
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“I was never interested in traditional banking,” he said. “For me, it’s definitely more of a quantitative side,” he says of a role with quantitative analysis.
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