Yesterday this site published an article about how senior bankers are being driven crazy by interns. This might be so, but during my career in banking I've also seen plenty of interns driven crazy by senior bankers - especially if they're young and female.
It happens less now, but when you're a young and attractive student the world of investment banking can seem exciting to you. - As can its inhabitants, who wear watches the price of your student loan. Similarly, when you're a senior person in a bank your head can be turned by the annual intake of 21 year-olds, particularly (as apparently happened at one hedge fund) if they're walking around offering massages to staff.
The problem for both parties is that when you're sleep-deprived it can be easy to lose sight of what’s appropriate and what’s not. Young hotel staff experience it all the time with guests. I know of one banking MD who had quite a line in 'mentoring' attractive young recruits.
If it's not chasing interns, it's often chasing assistants. Another very senior MD I know of became overly friendly with the night-shift assistant. On one occasion (that was famous with the entire staff) he dropped a set of keys by her desk, and texted her the address to his “bachelor pad” in the City, with the line: “Feel free to use it.” She did not.
There are cases of junior staff falling for their assistants too. I've seen instances of analysts and their assistants getting together before subsequently separating and trying to avoid each other. I've also encountered a case where an analyst got together with an assistant and convinced her to go back to university and study. Several years later she rejoined the bank as an associate on a different team and went off with someone else.
Part of the problem here is obviously the difficulty finding and maintaining a relationship when you're doing a demanding banking job. There's a tendency to pursue whatever or whoever is closest to hand. This is likely one reason why a well known MD at one bank in London notoriously became addicted to escort services on business trips - to the point where everyone knew the real reason for his travels.
If you're looking for love and you work in banking, your best bet is probably to focus your attentions outside the industry. An associate at Citi became famous for following his Colombian salsa instructor to South America. Another MD fell in love with a non-banker and went to Tuscany to open a bed and breakfast. The summer holidays are your chance to find a new life - not to pair-up with the juniors.
Amit Itelmon is a pseudonym
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