10 November 2008

Cowslip's Warren

picture by letneo
You can tell a lot about an Investment Banker's career by the manner of her leaving it.

The hierarchy of styles-of-exit is subtle and complex; but also well-studied and instinctively understood so even the greenest, youngest, Assistant Vice President will be able to describe the three basic manners:

The grandest (but not, curiously, the most prestigious) is by way of the Obituary in  CorporateNews
Fred T. Bigwig has left the bank to pursue other opportunities. He joined in 2002 as Director in charge of Complex Transactions EMEA (exc. South Africa) and in 2004 was promoted to Co-Head of Financial Engineering, APAC where he oversaw three-fold growth in revenues. In 2006 he was honoured by Risk Magazine for his contribution to Diversity in the City. He is leaving to pursue opportunities elsewhere.
Translation: Outer Party, Owsla time-server: eased out with nothing but several million Euros in shares to salve his pride. No genuine rainmaker ever gets a send off like that - for then no genuine rainmaker ever leaves on good terms. Fired, retired, competitively hired, whatever: they all get Exit Style #2.
Please congratulate  AnneT Bigwig on her promotion to Global Co-Head of Deal-Making. She replaces A Rainmaker who after 6 years with the bank has left for personal reason.

But in the time of the Credit Crunch the most common style of exit we see is neither of the above. It's the hushed but steady, unmistakable departure of the RIFfed, and it's a quiet sort of event, an embarassed type of event, a please-step-up-to-the-27th-floor-to-see-HR type of event and there are no individual announcements of the names of the At Risk, just suddenly empty cubicles, hushed water-cooler conversations and in the email directory a give-away #.  
#Parsons, Tom is out-of-the-office and is not responding to emails. Thank you for not mentioning his name.


Burgin Streetman said...

i love reading your blog, mainly because I'm too stupid to understand a word of it.

Botogol said...

do you know, someone else once
said that

Anonymous said...

I am not stupid, but I can't understand it either...

Anonymous said...

I get it - well anonymously of course just in case i'm wrong :-( Let's face it this blog is crafted by a cryptic smart ar*e! Anyway ...isn't this a round about way of saying how unsettling life is at the moment in the City. If your face doesn't fit regardless of performance you're in the firing line and the exit interview kicks in! Exit interviews are never gracious although we all try. Some people have underperformed but many are circumstantial bystanders. Outcasts aren't to do with performance there's often outright nepotism and an ideal excuse to oust. But change is a good thing, CHANGE WE NEED - who invented that mantra? Goodness gracious me ;-)

Burgin Streetman said...

maybe i'm not so stupid then, eh? Maybe it's you!

Burgin Streetman said...

and you know what else? do you know how many times I went to the forbes gallery to see the eggs when i lived in NYC? guess? 8 times my friend. 8 times in 9 years.


Anonymous said...

Rats, the funny, clever link I was going to send you is already up in your side bar. Grrrr....

There is maybe something after all in that comment about being a smart a*se. Alibert Botogol, you are just too clever for us mortals ;-)

Botogol said...

@scribbler - (sigh) a kindred spirit. You are the only person I've ever met who also went to see those eggs (I remember once while I was in NY for a week trying to pesuade some work colleagues to go with me. Blank looks all round)

Over the years I think I went four times.
I have also seen Faberge eggs in Moscow in 1995 and if you ever come to London the Queen has a good collection - some of which will normally be on display to public in Buckingham Palace
And - yes - I am open to the possibility that it is me :-)

@Anonymous1- all you require is a basic UK/US dictionary; oh, and willingness to google :-)

@Anonymous2 - a warm welcome to Green Ideas (for I don't recognise your style..). You are clearly a person of persicacious intelligence and an incisive mind. Apart from the smart ar*e bit, that is.

@Just too late - wow, someone who reads my side-bar! I like you already.

@everyone - Hard to understand? Well perhaps one day, far, far in the future, Green Ideas will be explained in Brodie's Notes, using footnotes. . . now wouldn't that be an attractive idea...

Burgin Streetman said...

the first time i saw the eggs they were in a traveling show in charleston, south carolina of all places and i was ten and wept because they were so beautiful. when I found them in new york, they were only a few blocks from my office on fifth avenue, and whenever I would feel sad I would go down for a visit and it always made my heart sing.

(and footnotes are totally sexy by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous2 says....perspicacious :-) i'm flattered. I might become a regular..but there's so many blogs out there. Who wants commitment?
Brodie's Notes on Green Ideas or Smart ar*ses? I see a short-term future for the latter after all investment bankers fall into this category and are fast becoming rare species ;-) Now that's an attractive idea!

Botogol said...

@Anon2 - The flattery is wholly intentional, but fear not: you don't need to actually read GI to express your pleasure: simply becoming my fifth(1) 'follower' [it's over there on the sidebar... down a bit... THERE!] would be boost enough[2] to my fragile ego to keep me blogging another 6 months.

(1) Yes, OK, you're right, one of my followers is actually (ahem) me. So you'd be only the fourth

(2) Well, not *quite* enough, I'd still have fewer than outside_jane. but catching up (who said sibling rivalry was for kids?)

Anonymous said...

Scribbler, I could not agree more about footnotes(1).

(1) Yellow stockings and cross garters are similarly alluring.

Botogol said...

I know! I know! I know!
Twelfth Night! Malvolio! :-)

So now - who in this footnote is being cast as Malvolio ??