Charlie Mortimer knows a little more about front office banking jobs. Before leaving Citi to create a financial technology company and a financial modeling platform Stellar Fusion in June, he had worked at Citi sales and trading, equity researchand the investment banking divisions.
Of these three areas, Mortimer said one was more interesting than the rest: research.
As a researcher, Mortimer has covered European small and medium enterprises, including industrial and waste recycling. This took him from Portugal to Scandinavia and exposed him to a wide range of industries. “It was the most intellectually stimulating work I’ve done, and I’ve met a lot of very interesting companies across Europe doing different things,” he says.
By comparison, Mortimer says that sales and trading (he was in sales after starting Citi’s graduate markets program) were the most sociable of his banking jobs, and that sociability was enjoyable while building relationships. relationships with customers and learning the fundamentals of the market. Finally, he says that working in the investment banking division (he was most recently vice-president in investment banking in London for almost two years) on mergers and acquisitions and bringing companies to market was “fascinating” and much more complex than he had imagined.
If you are looking for a job in finance with a good way of life, however, search may not be. “You have the most control over time in sales and trading,” Mortimer says, adding that the trading floor was also where he saw the most people with side gigs. In mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance, hardly anyone has a side gig because long hours make that nearly impossible.
As he moved from sales to research and then to the investment banking division, Mortimer says the number of hours he worked kept increasing. In sales and commerce, he says the hours were close to 60 a week. In research, they were closer to 70. In investment banking, they were closer to 80.
Like the table below, taken from our most recent salary and bonus survey, shows, sales and commercial jobs also pay the most.
When he worked in research, Mortimer says he worked longer hours but controlled them. In investment banking, he worked even longer, but had almost no control. “Investment banking is much more hierarchical. I worked for multiple people and was constantly at their beck and call. You lose control of time and your evenings and weekends can disappear,” he says.
Despite this, Mortimer was one of the few people in investment banking to did have a gig next door. — He started Stellar Fusion with Aneek Haq, a Citi executive on the small cap desk, during his hiatus on Dec. 21. He eventually quit when they secured venture capital funding.
The goal is to create a tool that allows retail investors to access the types of financial models that institutional clients have access to. They plan to launch in October ’22.
“I took back control of my hours,” Mortimer says. “We work on our own schedule. In the day I have to do some work, but then I can reset and recover and go to the gym before working in the evening.”
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