Morning Coffee: New statistic on the impossibility of getting a front office banking job now; successful technique for penetrating Goldman Sachs

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Everyone knows that investment banking is difficult to get into, but how impossible is it really to get a coveted position in the 'front office'? Almost completely impossible according to the Observer. The paper reported yesterday that there are around 750 applications for every front office summer internship at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. That's an acceptance rate of just 0.13%.

The new figure came in a long article on Moritz Erhardt, the German student who tragically died whilst interning at Bank of America Merrill Lynch last summer. Erhardt reportedly 'fought 1,500 other candidates to get one of two places in the investment banking division.'

Last May, Gary Cohn, COO of Goldman Sachs, said that only 2% of applicants for intern positions at Goldman Sachs receive job offers. Similarly, research firm High Fliers has estimated that there are around 80 student applications for every entry-level investment banking job in the U.K.  However, both Cohn and High Fliers refer to all banking jobs - including plentiful jobs in the back and middle office. It's not clear where the Observer derived its figure of 750 applications for every front office place, but if true it shines an entirely new light on the difficulty of getting a place in an investment bank - and the reason why students might overwork if they actually achieve one.

Separately, Bloomberg reports that Janet Strauss Cook, one of the first female traders at Goldman Sachs, has died. Strauss Cook used an interesting tactic to achieve her first job at the firm. She stood at the reception desk and refused to move until she was told the name of an equities professional to whom she could send her CV, says Bloomberg. Eventually, Robert Rubin passed and inquired what all the fuss was about. When Rubin was told Strauss Cook's request, he interviewed her on the spot.


In 2008, Goldman made 16% of its revenues from DCM. This year, it will make 40%. (Financial News) 

Recruiters say there has been big demand for contract compliance staff as banks rush to meet regulatory deadlines. (Financial Times) 

Following news of the Swiss investigation into FX price fixing, shares in Credit Suisse and UBS rose on Friday. (Financial Times) 

French taxpayers will be most stung by bank recapitalization come the next crisis. (Alphaville)  

Equities bankers are being made redundant because fixed income is doing badly and banks can't afford to cross-subsidize other business areas. (IFRE)

I can testify to the extraordinary whiteness of Jamie Dimon’s shirts. (Economist) 


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