LONDON — Before the 2008 financial crisis, jobs in investment banking and trading were the most sought after by young people interested in finance.
But tougher capital rules and bonus restrictions, as well as weaker economic growth in the US and Europe, have taken the sheen off these areas and caused large banks to change their business models.
Credit Suisse is a good example, cutting back in markets and switching focus to private banking, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.
So what is it like for a young person working in a bank like Credit Suisse in 2017?
Henri Etchegoyen is one of the Swiss lender’s private bankers in London. He is a relationship manager, tasked with building a UK clientele and looking after existing customers. Here is how his typical workday goes:
Meet Henri Etchegoyen, 28, pictured here in the Credit Suisse office cafe. He joined the bank as an intern, working his way up to analyst and finally relationship manager in the private bank. Etchegoyen went through an 18-month training programme in Zurich, taking internal exams and tests from the Financial Conduct Authority to be approved for the role.
On Mondays, Etchegoyen gets into work for an 8 a.m. meeting at the Credit Suisse Canary Wharf office after a commute of about 45 minutes. At the meeting, the private-banking team gets a markets update and discusses investing strategies and ideas.
After that, Etchegoyen often has a lot of external meetings, both with prospective clients and existing ones. Many of those take the form of coffees and lunches around Mayfair, where Credit Suisse has a private-banking office.
Etchegoyen's main task is to build a book of business, convincing wealthy people to let Credit Suisse handle their money. He focuses mostly on UK entrepreneurs and says word of mouth is key to expanding the client base.
If Etchegoyen isn't in Mayfair or elsewhere in the city meeting clients, he can grab lunch from Credit Suisse's enormous canteen.
... and then go charging around the food venues. The 'taste theatre' dominates as the centre of the canteen.
If Etchegoyen is in the office in the afternoon, he might have a bit of internal admin to get through -- and because he's providing investment advice to clients, admin for the FCA as well. Etchegoyen says one of the biggest hurdles he has to overcome to add clients is looking young. He passed the CFA exams, which are some of the most rigorous in the financial world, but clients can equate age with expertise.
Etchegoyen's usually done for the day around 6 p.m., although recently it has been busier than normal and he has worked until 9 p.m. a few times. There are often client events in the evening -- the bank has a box at the O2 Arena for entertainment and sponsors the National Gallery's Michelangelo exhibition.
If there aren't any events, Etchegoyen might hit the Credit Suisse gym, which is one of the largest corporate office gyms. It has a full range of weights, classes, and whatever these things are (some form of cardio equipment).
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