New research presented at the Royal Economic Society's Annual Conference today suggests having an Anglo Saxon name is a good thing if you happen to be applying for a job in Chicago.
Chicago researchers sent out CVs with Anglo Saxon names, 'foreign sounding names,' and Afro-American names. They found that the response rate for Anglo Saxon names was 40% higher than the others.
Does this hold true in the City of London?
We haven't replicated the experiment. Anecdotally, however, recruiters say an Anglo Saxon name might be an impediment when you're applying for some investment banking jobs, on the grounds that: "On the whole British people are not as smart and well educated as the French, the Germans, or the Norwegians."
Which nationality, which role?
Equally anecdotally - given that discrimination on racial grounds is illegal - financial services recruiters say some nationalities are seen as more suited to some types of financial services role than others.
Hence Italian people are sometimes preferred in sales jobs. French, Chinese and Russian people may be preferred in quant roles. English people might be considered preferable for corporate broking positions.
There are also lingering allegations that Deutsche has a slight preference for Indians and that there are plenty of Arabs working under Samir Assaf at HSBC Global Banking and Markets.
"Italians are great in marketing roles because they talk a lot," says one recruiter, confirming the stereotype.
However, another says that even in the quant space, Anglo Saxon candidates are totally fine. "We will always recruit the best person for the role," he assures us.
"In any case, French banking candidates in the quant space tend to be more arrogant and geared towards the money and the prestige, whereas English people are more interested in the job itself," he adds, after a moment's additional thought.