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Morning Coffee: The bank where job titles don’t matter. More bros in tech than banking

What type of bankers make a success of moving from bulge brackets to boutiques? Ken Moelis is in no doubt, at least when it comes to hiring senior staff for his firm.

The key, says the Moelis & Co founder, is to have a fancy title at a large investment bank and have the mettle to give it up.

“The people who chose to leave their title — most of the people at our firm were heads of their groups, really accomplished — I give a lot of credit,” Moelis told Financial News. “They’re confident enough to take that journey and leave being the co-head of the Americas for some bank that gets you into the right country club.”

Moelis would appear to be channelling the industry zeitgeist right now. Scores of investment bankers on both sides of the Atlantic have shifted to or set up boutiques this year.

But Moelis isn’t buying this. He believes that, as a rule, bankers remain reluctant to give up the trappings of big firms. The people he hires are the outliers, who don’t care so much about their job titles. “I have many bankers say ‘Why would I do this? I’m the head of-’ and then they give me a title. What’s amazing to me is how many people get wrapped up in a title and forget to have a career.”

Separately, Wall Street is currently beating Silicon Valley on the gender diversity front – just. Female employees are actually in the majority at three of the largest US banks, reports Quartz. That places them far ahead of all the major tech firms – at Google and Microsoft only 29% and 25% of the workforce respectively are women.

The catch? The banks with the highest proportion of women – Bank of America, J.P. Morgan and Citigroup – are all big players in US retail banking, a sector in which female representation has traditionally been high. At Goldman Sachs, a firm more purely focused on investment banking, just 37% of staff are women.

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEO), which collates companies’ diversity numbers, puts traders and investment bankers into its ‘professional’ category. And in banking most of these professionals are men. Which jobs do women dominate in banking? They fall under the so-called ‘other’ designation, which includes bank tellers, sales representatives, personal assistants, secretaries, and administrative support workers.


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Image credit: Wirachai, Getty

AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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