It's the time of year when banks like to clear out existing staff before announcing bonus payments for the previous 12 months. Morgan Stanley has been doing it already; other banks are expected to follow soon. If you happen to be one of the unfortunate managing directors (MDs) or directors cast out in 2019, you might want to use a former Credit Suisse MD as a role model for finding a new role.
Stephen Plestis officially left Credit Suisse in April 2018 after seemingly being put at risk by the bank in December 2017. As of this January he's got a job at OpenGamma, the London-based derivatives analytics company. Plestis is now OpenGamma's head of sales for EMEA and Asia. He is also a helpful example of how to get back in the game when you've got over two decades' experience and find yourself out.
Firstly, you need to keep busy. After leaving CS, Plestis spent seven months consulting through a limited company he set up himself in May 2018.
As a consultant, Plestis worked for hedge fund BlueCrest, where he helped set up a new derivatives entity. He also worked for OpenGamma, where he consulted on sales and business development. - In other words, Plestis turned his consulting gig into a full time job.
Other senior bankers who find themselves out of the market want to follow Plestis's lead.
As well as staying busy, you need to be flexible. Plestis spent nearly 23 years in banking - first at Merrill and then at Credit Suisse. He began life as a trader but moved into sales and then a senior role in clearing (operations) after 11 years. Plestis went on to have a very successful career in banking operations. Now he's reinvented himself again.
You also need to look beyond the sell-side. - Plestis's new job is with a vendor rather than a bank. If you're out of the market now, it makes sense to look beyond what you know. The number of successful banks is on a downwards trajectory. The number of fintech firms has been proliferating.
OpenGamma aims to improve returns for derivatives users by increasing their capital efficiency. The company says its revenues are increasing at a rate of 300% per annum, and it announced plans to push into the Americas late last year.
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