Young Wall Street woefully misunderstands Wall Street


Vanity Fair | July 5, 2017

Vanity Fair's Hive featured our study, "Career Crossroads: The Talent Migration from Finance to Tech," in a recent article. The article is excerpted below.

Young Wall Street woefully misunderstands Wall Street

Back in the day—and by “the day” we mean prior to the 2008 financial crisis—young financiers understood that going to work on Wall Street meant trading your social life, dignity, and mental (and in some cases physical) health for a chance to accumulate an absurd amount of money. Then, a few things happened that suddenly changed that culture: the crisis hit, and banks weren’t able to pay people as much as they used to. Millennials, with their insistence on logging fewer than 100 hours a week and being addressed by name and not “Hey, idiot,” entered the workforce. Silicon Valley started competing with Wall Street for young, pitchbook-and-Excel-addled talent. In recent years, in order to make up for kids who just graduated college taking home barely six figures, banks have taken previously unheard-of steps like letting junior bankers take Saturdays off. As a result, young financial services employees are now under two very mistaken impressions, according to the results of a new survey by the Toigo Foundation and Russell Reynolds Associates.

The first is that Wall Street is the industry to get into if you value individuality and being valued as a person, with one respondent writing, “Finance could be better served if they tried to flatten their organizational structure and get to know their people—even at the department level. I’m much more than simply a pitchbook.”

And the second is that tech companies, where many a disgruntled finance employee has fled, actually care about you.

“I transitioned to tech where the company says: ‘We care about you.’ That message alone gives you a sense of belonging and value. In banking, the messages are conveyed through your bonus. Not everyone is motivated solely by money. We want to feel engaged.”

To read the full article​, click here.

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Young Wall Street woefully misunderstands Wall Street