How investment banking is like royalty

Friday, July 27, 2007

How investment banking is like royalty

Funny thing, you think to yourself, crouched over a discounted cash flow model on your screen on a Friday evening, that investment banking is so much like royalty. And not progressive royalty like a number of European countries have today. No. This is the old fashioned Marie Antoinette kind of shit we’re talking about here.

Thinking about why you’re sitting over an excel model for a project you’re not meant to be working on, for a client who you don’t even know and with a team that is in the pub having pints, brings you to this amazing realization. Why is it that you are here, and they are all there, and the guy that’s meant to be doing what you’re doing is the one in the middle of it all, having fee shots left right and centre.

Zap – flashback and it dawns on you again. Because he’s the intern and it’s his “half-way-through-the-internship-(yay he survived four whole weeks of spoon fed and sugar coated investment banking ass kissing)-drinks”. He’s a fucking intern! Fucking intern? So why are you here, doing his work, and he’s there, doing your drinking? Oh, And PS, who the fuck has heard of “half-way-through” drinks? So, back to the point, why? Well, because he’s part of the investment banking royalty programme, more commonly known as the “I’m an investment banker cos my daddy got me the job” programme. In his case though, it’s even better. both of his parents are managing directors and his uncle is a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, so go figure. There a programme where children of the employees and clients can intern for the summer (only one phone interview required versus the 3 plus who knows how many superdays that other mortals have to endure).

So why is it that these Bob Kings, Robert Mack, Francesca Paulson and Henry O’Neals (that’s right, check the internal databases and find out that the monkey is not cruel enough to name the real individuals) of the world get hired?

Well, to a certain extent, for entertainment. To do jobs, even jobs that are impossible to screw up, and screw them up, so everyone can discreetly laugh after congratulating them on a job well done.

But jokes aside, these individuals get hired for the same reasons that the royals of the past wanted male children – so that the firm can secure its next generation of leaders. It is only exceptional people, with no leadership skills, extensive ass kissing ability, no scruples, and an ego the size of the city of London, but no discernible skillset as such (MD’s) that are truly fit to run the firm. See the resemblance? Yes. Incompetent? Useless? Ignorant? True investment banking managing director material.

So that’s how investment banking is like royalty, you think to yourself, looking at the screen. You keep looking, when a comforting though puts a smile on your face, as you think of what happened to mademoiselle Antoinette.


Anonymous said...

It's ok. There is an alternate rat race, you know... where instead of competing with asshats and the "best of the best" you instead compete with a bunch of drunken clowns.

It's out there.

Abhishek Singh said...

Ah, Monsieur monkey, your writing, it eeess, magnifique! Nice post and oh so true :)