Lunchtime Links: Bankers attend elite universities and play sports that "resonate with white, upper-middle-class culture"

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Maybe you think that getting a job in investment banking is about academic excellence. Maybe you think it's about networking, MBAs and attending top schools. It probably is. But it's also about playing the right sort of sports.

Lauren Rivera, a sociologist at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management has conducted research based upon observation and anonymous interviewing of people working for 'elite professional service employers.'

Rivera concludes that these employers rely more upon academic pedigree than any other factor when they're selecting of employees. They mostly hire people from super-elite schools and are interested in prestige above grades, internships and actual performance.

Assuming you've been to the right sort of university, the real differentiating factor is sporting activities. Fortune cites Rivera as saying employers use sports as "valid markers" or "proxies" of a candidate's "social and moral worth."

However, not all sports count equally. The sports that will do you the most favours if you want to work in an investment bank are those that "resonate with white, upper-middle-class culture." These apparently include lacrosse, squash, and hockey.

HSBC has a self-imposed target of automatically awarding "underperformer" grades to 10 per cent of its employees. (The Times)

Commodities revenues were up 55% in the first quarter and J.P. Morgan's 1,800 person commodities unit made more money than during the whole of last year. (Wall Street Journal)

Citigroup has hired more than 35 managing directors in M&A so far this year. (Financial News)

Citigroup has permission to set up a joint venture securities business in China. (WSJ)

UBS is surviving in the US spite of itself. (NY Times)

Where to move to if you want to leave London and stay in the UK. (Telegraph)

Have the last 2 years been one big fantasy? A giant illusion perpetrated on the world by Central Banks? (Davian Letter)

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