DESPERATE MEASURES: The many advantages of mannying in this market

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Alright, I've traded in being an investment bod and become a male nanny. Or manny as I believe they are known at the school gates.

I have swapped the red braces for apron strings. And it's been a bit of an eye-opener.

Some of the yummy mummies I have been working for have (I understand) been boasting about having a male Mary Poppins. And I have to say that it's been rather a conversation stunner with my former Square Mile mates. "What? You? Mopping up Weetabix etc. etc. (men's reaction).

As far as girlfriends are concerned, the transformation from nasty Master of the Universe into caring and sharing Big Buddy (as we chap au pairs are often known) has been a bit of a winner. Remember Hugh Grant in that Nick Hornby film, About A Boy? When merely carrying a baby turned him into a babe Magnet? It's just like that.

What about the money, though? Everyone knows that if you have moved into the caring sharing professions, the thrill of the job is meant to carry you through the fact that you earn next to nothing while doing it. The 'feel good' factor should overtake any annual bonus, sort of thing. Yes well.

Actually I have discovered that should you become a totally brilliant manny and manage to impress your boss so much that she thinks the house cannot continue without your babysitting skills, then the perks are well worth it. Use of the costal cottage in Montenegro or a week's skiing at the family chalet in Austria definitely outweigh a non-existent bonus in banking.

There are additional perks of Champagne lunches and shopping sprees in Pimlico. From what I can see, people still in work are flat out at the moment, leaving their wives with limited company. Harmless attention from a young enthusiastic man is part of the reason these wealthy cougars hire us.

Is this me? Well, by no means is mannying a career move. When the markets eventually turn around, however, mannying may have its advantages. Many of the fathers I've dealt with are senior bankers and willing to help. After all, it's not what you know.

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