I left my banking job in London for something much better in Milan

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20 months ago, I left London. After 10 months on the Deutsche Bank ETF desk, I decided to come back and work in Milan. I’m Italian – I never planned to stay in London, but I’d expected to stay there longer than I did…

I came to Milan for a job – for the kind of amazing opportunity you don’t get when you’re in London with 10 months’ experience on the Deutsche ETF desk. I was invited to help set up an Italian ETF operation by brokerage firm Kepler Chevreux.

I'm an ETF sales trader. My team has the kind of entrepreneurial approach you find in a start-up. It’s nothing like working for a large structured bank in the City: the approach is much freer, far less siloed – we work across different functions and are rewarded on the basis of the business we bring in. There’s much less bureaucracy. Far less politics.

Italy’s market structure is also very different to the market in London. Here, there’s a large number of small financial institutions. In London, you’re chasing tier one clients. In Italy, you’re also chasing much smaller clients that large London banks might overlook: here, I work with clients from tier one to tier four. You need to be on the ground and to really understand the market and tailor your service to the client in front of you, no matter how small. The role is much more personalized.

I still travel a lot, and that can be tiring, but I travel within Italy. In London, you spend your time getting on planes and traveling to other European financial centres. Here, I’m more likely to get on a train to Rome or Naples. It’s tiring. It’s fun. I’m getting to meet people across my home country and am building valuable relationships for the future. This wouldn’t have been possible if I’d stayed in the U.K.

Milan operates at a different pace to London. Life is less crazy here; Milan sometimes sleeps, London often does not. Milan is a smaller city and the finance sector here is a lot smaller than in London – your network here will always be smaller, but you’ll know the people in it very well. I have no regrets about coming back: it’s given my career a big boost. Maybe you should try it too?

Jacopo D'Elisiis is an ETF sales trader working in Milan

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Photo credit: Partiamo già per le ferie? - We leave on vacation already? by Lorenzoclick is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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