Autumn is redolent of new school terms, new beginnings and upgraded school uniforms. At this time of the year, therefore, regrets about your choice of career may become more poignant. Now's the time when you may feel especially drawn to your suppressed vocation as a screenwriter, musician or producer of exquisite cheeses.
Some people do pursue their dreams. Take Stephen Ridley, the ex-M&A banker who left investment banking to become a musician and is now advertising his willingness to come and play some "intimate evenings" in your sitting room, anywhere in the world. Many people don't pursue their dreams, however, and maybe this is the right thing - as Simon Kuper noted in the Financial Times recently, plenty of people entertain thoughts of being artistic, but maybe your authentic self is an accountant.
Nevertheless, if you are suffering from career regrets, Harvard Business Review has some advice on how to handle them. Instead of torturing yourself with 'should haves', it suggests you take a more positive approach and ask yourself, 'What if?' HBR's tale of Evelyn, a thwarted musician-turned accountant turned-sort of musician, illustrates the ideal approach:
'Evelyn's family persuaded her to go into accounting, but after five miserable years at a financial services firm she still regretted not following her passion into music. She believed it was "too late to change now, and I'd never be able to support myself."
But when she started thinking about what ifs instead of should haves, Evelyn's attitude changed. She asked, "What if I work in an environment where there are lots of musicians and music? What if I could help musicians with my financial skills?" The what ifs lead her to target accounting jobs in music departments of universities or in other music organizations. While she was looking, she volunteered to help a local music school put its books on QuickBooks. She loved it, and they loved her, too. When she mentioned her interest in a career change to some people on the board of the music school, they helped her get started networking in the music world. Now she is the financial administrator of a large music festival, where she gets free music lessons and sometimes even jams with the performers.'
(HT to Shanny Basar's Tumblr The Wrong Empire for drawing our attention to this).
Separately, Reuters reports that RBS is making 300 more investment banking redundancies than the 3,500 it had already flagged. The new number is revealed in a presentation for a 'markets investor roundtable,' which is taking place today. RBS says headcount reductions will continue until the fourth quarter of 2013 and that 3,000 investment banking roles will go in 2012 alone. It also confirms that RBS's former M&A business is spinning off as a boutique with around 50 full time employees.
Ominously, RBS also boasts that it has made more investment banking redundancies than any of its rivals: headcount was cut 29% between December 2010 and June 2012.
Vince Cable is setting up a privately run and owned ‘business bank’ with $1bn of public money. (Financial Times)
The new business bank will be a securitisation machine. (BBC)
Revenues at Gleacher Shacklock increased for the third year running last year. It also hired 6 people. (Financial News)
Julius Baer may cut 600-880 jobs at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s overseas wealth management unit. There are substantial overlaps in Singapore, Hong Kong, the City of London and in Switzerland. (Reuters)
Paul Kelly, an MD on Credit Suisse’s financial sponsors team, appears to have left the bank. (Financial News)
Infrastructure funds are hiring ‘senior advisors.’ (Financial News)
In order to meet the ROE target for its corporate and investment bank, Deutsche would need to double the profits it makes at that business, which seems unlikely. (Financial News)
As a reminder: Deutsche plans 900 job cuts in the front office, principally focused on equities and corporate finance in Europe and Asia-Pacific. (Financial News)
Andrea Orcel has already created a circle of former colleagues who have followed him to UBS. (Reuters)
Marcus Agius thought Bob Diamond was very competitive and hoped he’d mature and relax upon becoming CEO. (Financial Times)
Bob Diamond has been offered jobs in private equity, hedge funds, and banks, but may become a lecturer at Yale. (The Sunday Times)
Ian Hannam still hasn’t decided what to do. (CityAm)
Danny Alexander has promised an extra 100 HM Revenue & Customs staff devoted to fighting tax avoidance by people with assets worth more than £1m. Previously the threshold was £2.5m. (Financial Times)
Coming soon to a country near you: an automated book building service that will eliminate the need for ECM bankers. (IFRE)
Daiwa Securities is cutting up to 50 derivatives jobs in Hong Kong. (Bloomberg)
Nomura has hired a new head of metals and mining research from Macquarie. (Bloomberg)
China's got a new five year plan for financial services. (AsianBanking)
The yuan is a "perfect candidate" to become an actively traded currency in London in the future, a senior Shanghai official. (WSJ)
Cold offices make people feel lonely, warm offices make people nice to each other. (Fast Company)
Banks corrupt people who work for them, says the church. It adds that persons of high moral standards don’t apply to work in banks in the first place. (The Sunday Times)
Reinvent yourself as a financial astrologer. (Wall Street and Technology)