Unhappy IB Associate

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    1

    Unhappy IB Associate

    I've been working as an associate at one of the top-tier banks for almost two years. I've handled the ridiculously long hours and work pressures, but I'm reaching the limit in being able to handle unreasonable demands from my boss. I work for someone who is widely disliked, but quite important to the firm. Despite talking about "work-life balance" and "talent development", the firm offers no safeguards to ensure that we receive some basic employee rights:

    - We're systematically denied any exposure either internally or externally. Our team members' names never appear on anything we produce and we're told not to email anyone of importance from our own accounts.

    - Boss won't meet with staff until 8pm, so there's no possibility of leaving work at a reasonable hour, and we usually have more to do afterwards.

    - Routinely expected to work nights/weekends when there is nothing urgent. I often get home at 10pm and find emails from my boss to my personal email asking me to do things that night. This despite compliance regulations against directing work-related email to personal accounts.

    - Always asked to work on weekends. Happy to work when there's necessary work to be done, but boss will gratuitously think up tasks to keep us busy. This is coming after a 70-hour week.

    - Routinely ignores leave requests, making us have to go back and ask again and again, and making it difficult to plan holidays.

    - Stingy with bonuses.

    Maybe I shouldn't be complaining given the current market environment but I'm so fed up. I'm working for a reputable institution with supposed respect for employee values, yet someone in a senior position can behave this way with impunity. I almost died laughing when I heard the firm is working with management consultants to develop a strategy for retaining and developing talent. How about just enforcing some basic safeguards to prevent exploitation? Like requiring that the author of a document be credited on it? How about a basic rule against requiring employees to work on weekends, when there's nothing urgent? How about responding promptly to leave requests? Or enforcing the rule against emailing personal accounts?

    It would be interesting to compare notes and receive advice on whether there is any way to improve the situation.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,438

    Sympathies but at the risk of getting red carded by some people on here, Thats part of what you get for selling your soul and working for an IB.

    I've worked for one before where they treated me like Dirt and in the end I walked out after three days after telling them to stick it, I refused to be a verbal punchbag for a bunch of traders who seemed to think your name was c**t.

    Your real world choice is to get the hell out and try your luck with another IB with a better reputation for treating their staff better, But as you know with the current credit crunch the markets dead at the moment.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    6,794

    Talk to HR. At the very least, they'll appreciate your input.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4,905

    No one likes a complainer... if it doesn't suit you, get a new job or be firm and polite and state your problem to the appropriate people but don't expect results and be prepared to walk out or let go. There's no free ride in life, you have to take it, it won't be given to you out of respect or courtesy...

    I love the least path of resistance strategy. Most people want to avoid conflict so they usually go around troublesome people. If you can manage to put up roadblocks or stand firm on unreasonable offer or rude supervisors while still being efficient, hardworking and conscientious, they'll usually go and pick on easier targets.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southside
    Posts
    656

    Jimbo, that's such a ridiculous statement. My husband is an Ibanker and has in no way sold his soul. You can't tar an entire industry because of one bad experience or because it's cool to do so.
    Varese, you need to either get another job or try to move in the firm you work with. Clearly your boss is a loser and 'dobbing' on him to HR won't win you any friends no matter how on the money you are.

    Sometimes working for the top of the top firms is not worth the hassle. I know lots of people that buy into the bullshit that their own firm sells them, they work stupid hours when there is no need, are constantly on call and mostly they do it because it makes them feel important. If you're not one of those people it's virtually impossible to put up with.

    My husband works long hours and does quite a few all nighters (at home though) when he has to but when he can come home at a reasonable hour he does. Your life doesn't have to be over especially if your bonuses don't make it worthwhile

    If you do think of moving I'd do it now.


  6. #6

    Having worked in and around an IB for 16 years I've seen what happens to people who complain or think that going to HR is going to resolve any issues. If you think they're treating you bad now wait until they realise you can't take what they're dishing out and you're complaining. Traders haven't suddenly started being complete Tossers, you must have realised this before contemplating working at an IB. If you went to an IB with the hope of being rewarded a f**k off bonus, they don't get paid until you've almost sold your soul. If your boss is from the UK you stand more of a chance of telling him to f**k off (when no one else is in ear shot... just expect the same back). You don't say whether you're back or front office. This makes a difference.


  7. #7

    aussigal, I realise that not all IB's are complete shits that have sold their soul. I also married an IB (we met at work) but by and large 95% are total wankers.


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    14,438
    Quote Originally Posted by saphireruby:
    aussigal, I realise that not all IB's are complete shits that have sold their soul. I also married an IB (we met at work) but by and large 95% are total wankers.
    Exactly, The majority are and believe you me the ones I have met in Canary Wharf in London and elsewhere have predominantly been wankers.

    Theres of course a few good ones but these are few and far between from my experience of meeting and dealing with these people.

    I have been offered roles in IB's since that incident and have refused them all even though the package was better than what I was currently on at the time. To me its not about money and the so called prestige of working for a 'tier one' IB its about being treated with respect and being valued.

  9. #9

    Jimbo,

    Just curious, were you one of the Balls Brothers, del'ugo etc., drinkers???


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southside
    Posts
    656

    Sure there are lots of IB wankers but my point is you don't have to be one.
    I know at least 3 I'd hang out with
    It seems to me that the degree of wankeritis depends on the firm you work for.


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