Most of the time when people ask whether it's possible to move into a first job in investment banking aged 40+, we say probably not: banking is, unfortunately, an industry with a lot of 20 and 30 year olds and rightly or wrongly there tends to be a bias against hiring anyone who doesn't fall within the standard parameters of youthfulness.
Quants may, however, be an exception.
Because most people don't finish their PhDs until their late 20s at least, there's a little more tolerance of *elderly* 35+ career-switchers.
"Quant roles are filled with a lot of people who have converted from other areas," says Dominic Connor, director at P&D Quant Recruitment. "Almost all senior quants didn't intend to go into financial services when they were at university."
Another recruiter claims to have placed a former civil servant-turned quant who did a PhD and moved directly to Goldman Sachs aged 42 upon its completion.
However, this is not typical.
"All the people we place in their first quant roles are aged 26-28 insists the head of quant recruitment at another firm. I have never personally placed a quant who decided to do a PhD aged 35. We don't even get any CVs from them."
Connor says such things are possible. But he points out that you will need to show signs of achievement in whatever you were doing previously. "Banks are wary of people who want to do finance after stagnating in another line of work."