investment banking is truly a volatile industry. i was talking the other day about the guy who recruited us leaving. today a fellow-intern (from IIML) lost his entire team. in other words, EVERYONE he was working with left the company today and moved elsewhere. poor guy now has nowhere to go… similar case with the other guy from IIML also! his MD has quit and his team is being disbanded. he doesn’t know if he’ll be asked to come back next year…
i was asking an MD today at a meeting regarding exodus of people from our company. he said, “our retention rates among junior and middle levels are the highest in the industry. i’m very happy about that. yeah, quite a few senior guys left but they weren’t doing much work anyway!” fundoo… this guy apparently left the banking industry in 1999 to start his own dot com company but after it went bust 2 years later, joined JP Morgan!
staying on the topic, i suddenly started wondering what would happen if a team suddenly quit en masse, like the L guy’s team left today. the team in question was a marketing team covering the middle east. which means that by tomorrow morning, there should be someone who should be there at the desk handling the phone (after all it’s a marketing desk and important ‘orders’ can’t be missed). they can’t leave an intern alone on the desk (mostly they’ll find a new desk for him), so someone else from some other position has to be moved in. marketing to the middle east requires knowledge of arabic and persian, since few clients know english. and marketing derivatives means that the person should know derivatives well and should be fluent with the modeling techniques!
i was just asking my VP what one does in such a situation. he simply said that he hasn’t thought about it but it WOULD be a tough problem for top management. and he added that though such events are common in the investment banking industry, there is no set practice as to what one would do. in all probability all the business that desk had would be gone forever!
(reminds me of the IT heydays when Infy and Wipro used to maintain a ‘bench’ – just in case there was an exodus or business picked up too rapidly)