Top investment banker leaves for fintech, returns seven months later

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It’s an all too familiar career path in investment banking these days – senior investment banker quits for a fintech start-up, bemoans previous vocation as a declining industry, sails off into the sunset for a new life of hoodies and scrum sessions.

However, Federico Infantino, the former head of fixed income structuring at Bank of America Merrill Lynch who left in October to co-found a fintech app called Aircoinz, has made a swift return to banking.

He’s now head of Latam structured credit sales at Nomura, a role he took in May, just seven months after departing BAML. As well as Aircoinz, which allows users to send money internationally using blockchain technology, Infantino has also been running a firm called Prime Financial Solutions and acting as an adviser to the Central Bank of Argentina.

Perhaps the move into fintech was always transitory, but it still shows that quitting a senior banking role to go it alone isn’t always a viable option.

Rajeev Gupta, who spent nine years working for Goldman Sachs before leaving to found social networking site Gecko Life, says that working for a start-up is an all-consuming affair, all for a small chance of success and very little in the way of financial reward.

“You can read all the literature in the world about beginning a start-up. Nothing can prepare you for the actuality. You go to sleep thinking about your product. You wake up to pee, and you grab your smart phone to check your company messages. You wake and login to your website,” he told us.

Infantino spent around 18 months in his role at BAML before leaving in October last year. He has also spent nearly ten years working at Deutsche Bank in New York as a managing director overseeing structuring for complex credit, rates, currency and commodity transactions focused on Latin America.

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