Keeping Tabs On Client Entertainment Creates Jobs In IT

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Technologists may be pleased to learn of a new kind of technology function being rolled out across U.S. investment banks.

The U.S. banking publication Wall Street Letter says some large investment banks are creating new technology programs to track the amounts bankers spend entertaining clients.

The systems are being developed pending proposals by the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD to regulate these expenses, and will apparently need to log everything from a round of drinks at a client meeting to travel expenses and corporate gifts. Few off-the-shelf products are said to meet banks' requirements.

The article doesn't name any of the banks involved in the process, but Lehman Brothers is reportedly among them.

Michael Lapin, a technology recruitment consultant at ML Search in the U.K., says the new projects could offer an opportunity for technologists with little experience in banking to break into the industry: "This is the sort of job any programmer could do - you could just as easily come from the pharmaceutical industry."

Pay, however, is likely to be less than for technologists supporting front-office trading desks. "You won't be aligned to any kind of profit center and will be seen as a cost," Lapin warns.