Morning Coffee: Childish, offensive, degrading animals on the trading floor? Banks' coveted MBAs look the other way
There have been plenty of stories of traders being boorish, profane, immature and lewd, but surely that was back in the bad old days before bankers cleaned up their act, right? Well, actually, some might have more work to do.
A former Crédit Agricole banking analyst claims that she heard colleagues talk about prostitutes and drugs and saw them exchange pornography while working on the trading floor.
The analyst filed charges of sexual discrimination and harassment, asking for £79,500 ($105,147) in compensation, according to Financial News.
She recalled that various "disgusting and childish behaviour such as animal noises, burps, passing of wind and ball games" as well as "misogynist jokes" took place on the open-plan trading floor.
"They were sometimes showing each other pornographic images and videos right on the desk," she said, adding that her colleagues "created an offensive and degrading environment" to work in, per FN.
Hermal Mistry, her manager at the time, said that "loud and boisterous" joking about "brasses [prostitutes] and drugs" was simply part of a "running gag" on his team.
She accused Mistry of excluding her from social events with the team. After getting fired, she gained 20 kg (44 lbs.) in weight and struggled to get a new job in the financial sector.
The bank denies her claims and said that her contract was not renewed because of her performance and taking too much holiday and sick leave.
Separately, ever since the Great Recession of 2008, the leading business schools that funnel MBAs into Wall Street – Wharton, Columbia, Booth and NYU Stern – have seen fewer of their graduates headed into the core finance jobs in investment banking, investment management, private equity, venture capital and hedge funds. When the recession hit in 2008, 47.8% of Wharton’s graduating class went into the financial services sector, while five years ago, the financial sector hired 41% of Wharton’s MBAs.
The numbers of Wharton MBAs going into the financial services industry reached a new record low this year, falling to 32.7% of the graduating class. The single biggest fall occurred in investment banking and brokerage jobs, which hired just 12.7% of the class, down from 16.1% a year earlier, according to Poets & Quants.
Meanwhile, 28.3% of this year’s crop of Wharton MBAs went into consulting, up from 26.6% a year earlier and just a single percentage point below the 2013 high point. A record 16% of the class landed jobs in the tech sector, up from 12.6% last year.
Overall Wharton MBAs saw a 2.8% rise in estimated total median compensation to $152,990, from $148,875 last year.
The highest median base salaries of $150k were in two financial categories: hedge funds and private equity. Just 3.7% of the class landed jobs with hedge funds, while 8.3% got jobs at PE firms.
Wharton reported that the median base salary for MBAs entering the consulting industry hit $147,500 this year.
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Photo credit: The Wolf of Wall Street (Directed by Martin Scorsese; produced by Red Granite Pictures, Appian Way & Sikelia Productions)