Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Equity derivatives senior salesman: 'You can't bully a hedge fund'

Lower level but prima facie honest if a bit whiny.
As much as anything I wanted to bookmark the writer, Luyendijk.
From The Guardian's Banking blog:
Joris Luyendijk hears from an equity derivatives salesman about negotiating the relationship between client and trader

In the continuing series here about the equity derivatives corner of finance, today a senior salesman at a major bank. He is in his early 30s and, this being a relatively small field, that is all that can be said about him.

"You've got two types of people in investment banks, essentially. You have got those for whom their job is their identity. If their career does not go well or they threaten to lose their jobs, they face an acute crisis of confidence.

"Then there are the people for whom this is simply a job. It pays well, comes with huge demands, and, well, over all for them the balance tips in favour of staying in their job. But they will feel conflicted, constantly watching over their shoulder; is this new guy who came in from UBS really helpful or actually trying to steal my client? It's a competitive atmosphere. If you've done a particularly profitable trade, that will be mentioned in the morning meeting.

"It's a delicate balance for sales guys like me. Some clients are really nice, some are horrible. Same with traders. You get into petty situations where a trader may decide he hates a particular client and will not quote a good price. Or they will be deliberately slow, making you look bad to the client.

"There's also another side, when a trader may say, hey, I like that client, let's take him out for a drink and get to know him better, so we can do more business with him.

"Over all, it's very tiring to be a salesman, absolutely. You get absolutely fed up with people's attitudes, clients and traders. Add to that your boss. He can be a sociopath, or a money-obsessed person, or a genuinely nice guy. You have no control over that, but he has control over you as he will be the one to put your name on the list when there's a new round of redundancies. What if he pressures you to do something you feel is not to the advantage of the client?...MORE