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Morning Coffee: The toughest job to get in finance. Secret pressures of banker dads

Investment banks are not great at gender diversity. For all the returnships, onsite crèches and mentoring schemes, women still comprise just 25% of senior roles.

Compared to hedge funds, however, banks are approaching Star Trek levels of societal harmony. Women portfolio managers are out numbered by 20:1 and control less than 1% of assets under management in the industry, according to the FT. 439 hedge funds have a female portfolio manager, while 9,081 have men in the role.

Paul Tudor Jones’ 2013 comments that mothers can’t be top traders certainly don’t help the situation, and tales of women who have made it to the top show just how big a sacrifice they’ve made. The old boys’ network is slowing being dragged towards the 21st century, however. Hedge funds such as D.E. Shaw are rolling out schemes to help more women both start out on the buy-side or return to the industry after time out raising children, says the FT.

But, as Barbara Ann Bernard, founder and chief investment officer of the hedge fund Wincrest Capital, pointed out to the FT, while there’s a need to address the shortage of women in larger funds, the real issues start when they attempt to go it alone.

“There need to be examples,” she adds. “And every time a woman starts a fund, she sparks hope. To me it’s a bit frustrating that everyone says there is a lack of [women-led] funds out there. There aren’t, lots of women are trying, but institutional money needs to come in earlier.”

Luke Ellis CEO of Man Group insists these moves are not about “box ticking”. “It is simply about hiring and keeping the best people,” he told the FT.

Separately, while there’s no shortage of men in the financial sector, there’s one section of the population that feels neglected, stretched and…guilty – fathers.

In a series of interviews with dads in City jobs, Financial News suggests that they’re faced with pressures and prejudices.

"I work remotely one day a week. But I had to fight to get it, and three years on I have to fight to keep it as the usual nonsense comments about my 'day off' still prevail," said one.

Being a supportive father is difficult: "Quote from son number two last night: 'I know you have to be there when you're trading, but you've never seen me play cricket or football for the school.'"

The pressure to keep earning high salaries means that many are unlikely to quit, but the attitude among financial services firms is rubbing off: "I would strongly dissuade my children from seeking a career in the City," said another dad.


Goldman Sachs is making a renewed push into trading corporate bonds electronically (Financial Times)

Millennium Capital Management has lost another portfolio manager (HFM)

Frankfurt resident’s don’t want bankers (WSJ)

John Crompton, the former global head of corporate finance at HSBC, has gone into fintech (Financial News)

"It took almost 80 years after 1930 to have another financial crisis that could have been of that magnitude. And now after 10 years everybody wants to go back to a status quo before the great financial crisis. And I find that really extremely dangerous and extremely short-sighted.” (Business Insider)

Gary Cohn is reportedly “disgusted” by Trump’s response on Charlottesville (Business Insider)

Jamie Dimon has also strongly condemned the President Trump’s comments (Financial News)


AUTHORPaul Clarke

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