We've written about nepotism before: if you want to get a job in M&A it helps massively if your parents are a big client; equally, it helps to be royalty.
However, a new more insidious trend appears to be emerging in which wealthy parents will actually pay for their children to spend time interning in financial services firms.
Needless to say, it's all done in the name of charity. Equally needless to say, this kind of thing is more likely to take place at small hedge funds and brokers where one well connected individual has more influence than in a large bank.
The clearest example comes from the Conservative Party's recent Black and White Party, at which attendees paid:
- 3k for a two week internship at CMC Markets
- 2.5k for a week's internship at hedge fund Caxton Associates
- 2k for a week at Bell Pottinger (PR firm)
- 3.5k for a week at Arbuthnot Private Bank
- 3k for a week's work experience at ICAP
Given the importance of internships and relevant prior experience to getting a graduate position in financial services, anyone participating in a purchased internship will be in a position of strength.
It hardly seems fair, Nor does it seem particularly meritocratic. Recent research suggested law firms are increasingly replete with the privately educated. Banks are clearly going the same way.