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Junior bankers think senior bankers don't care. Senior bankers think juniors are too needy

If you thought you had relationship troubles, try dealing with bankers.

A new white paper from the New York-based executive recruitment firm Options Group claims that junior and senior bankers are not getting along. It says junior bankers at big banks feel that they have “limited to no support from senior management” in their work, and that senior bankers feel juniors lack a "sense of seriousness and drive” and need too much "handholding." 

As a result, Options Group says junior bankers are less loyal to particular banks, and senior bankers are turning to more experienced staff to pick up the slack. Needy juniors mean VPs and directors are suddenly far more important because they can coach juniors who need a lot of help. 

Juniors' apparent ineptitude might have a lot to do with the pandemic, during which they learned their craft at home. A previous study also found that senior bankers find contemporary juniors particularly annoying.

Options Group thinks there will be more job cuts. It says big banks have “over hired junior talent”, and a “correction in headcount” (read: job cuts) is expected in 2024. Smaller analyst classes are also likely.

Where are jobs going to be safest? Well, in all likelihood, wherever there is most activity. Consumer-retail and industrials will have strong M&A and equity activity, whilst communications and technology will have strong M&A activity, and not much else.

Options Group says some of the best positions now are in middle market banks, although for different reasons – strong client exposure from relatively junior positions meant that “an associate or VP [with] the goal of a long-term career in IB is better served working at a middle-market firm.”

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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