As we reported earlier this week, it's summer intern season in investment banks. Interns are mostly arriving this week and next and - if they're working in investment banking divisions (IBD) are ready to put in 17 hour days.
This is not unrealistic - despite concerns over intern health and a hard stop at midnight for interns at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, long hours remain the norm. One Morgan Stanley IBD intern-turned full-time analyst told us he regularly worked from 9am to 2am last summer and never left before midnight. If you're home before 1am as an IBD intern, you're lucky basically.
In this febrile and exhausted environment, interns themselves are starting to keep track of the best teams to work for. So far, one stands out above all others: the consumer and retail team at Credit Suisse in London. Here, there is talk of a particularly kind and considerate boss who strictly enforces a personal rule that none of his interns should work later than midnight during the week (alongside a bank-mandated rule that they should stop working at 7pm on Friday and not start again until 12pm on Saturday). "He's very proactive," says one intern. "In IBD, the amount of work you do is very much down to the team and the leadership. Credit Suisse's consumer and retail team just has a very good culture."
Who is this friend of the interns? We don't know exactly, although Credit Suisse's consumer and retail banking group is co-headed by Jens Welter and Andrew Van Der Vord. Der Vord rejoined last year from RBC and Welter, a CS veteran was appointed co-head of investment banking and capital markets for EMEA last September.
Credit Suisse declined to comment on the rumours. However, the allegedly relaxed atmosphere in the consumer and retail team might simply because there is less to do there - figures from Dealogic suggest CS has only worked on five retail deals globally this year, compared to 15 in technology and 13 in utilities and energy. Interns themselves suggest the financial insitutions group (FIG) team at the Swiss bank is also comparatively busy, with late nights/early mornings the norm.
While CS interns who want to sleep might be inclined to queue up for the consumer and retail group, there are those who would cast aspersions on this particular myth. Some at the bank say that even the consumer and retail team stay beyond midnight when deals require it. There is no escape. If you want a guaranteed seven hours' sleep a night this summer, you should probably have chosen another division instead.
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