Yearly Archives: 2013


Take heart, fresh start

While, in hindsight, some of my columns last year may have been a tad maudlin, I felt that they accurately conveyed the zeitgeist and prevailing mood of the market at the time: uncertainty, a lack of confidence and a semi-bleak outlook for the coming year. However, I’d say that has now changed. Whereas last year there was just a degree of blind hope that momentum would carry us to better things, there is now a palpable feeling of optimism in the air for a number of reasons. There are teasing hints that decent net interest income levels will return sooner than we [...]

2013-12-18T12:42:15+00:00December 18th, 2013|Comments Off on Take heart, fresh start

Back to basics

No, the headline does not refer to the highly acclaimed album from that master warbler and wordsmith Billy Bragg, but a reminder of some of the dos and don’ts of interview procedure and etiquette. Recently, I’ve uncovered some rather unsettling anecdotal evidence that interviewees for even some very senior roles are failing to follow the established etiquette for before, during and after interviews, so at the risk of being accused of teaching granny to suck eggs, what follows is a brief guide to some elements you should consider. Firstly, the concepts of the ‘six Ps’—and I hope I don’t have to explain [...]

2013-12-04T10:18:46+00:00December 4th, 2013|Comments Off on Back to basics

Fun and frolics

With Christmas yet to arrive, mince pies still to be bought and family discussions yet to boil over into heated arguments, I thought I’d make a couple of early predictions as to what might be in store for all of us in 2014. As with most annual predictions, do feel free to forget them completely by early February... Overall, I’m calling 2014 a positive year in which the current supply/demand mismatch of candidates to jobs will be restored to some semblance of normality. Indices are looking healthy and as soon as interest rates start to rise (a very early 2015 prediction), then [...]

2013-12-04T10:16:21+00:00December 4th, 2013|Comments Off on Fun and frolics

Relationship rules, okay?

Relationships, as my Darling Wife often reminds me, are funny old things, covering a huge range of formats, from fully monogamous to fully open, and every combination in-between. Depending upon requirements and necessities, they can be one-to-one, one-to-many or even a mix of both at different times. From an asset servicing perspective (which I can assure you is much more interesting than my own), relationships occur at every level—from a bank to its ultimate shareholders, between a firm and the regulators, an entity and its suppliers, and the employees with their customers. At every stage of the corporate relationship spectrum, there are [...]

2013-12-04T08:03:41+00:00December 4th, 2013|Comments Off on Relationship rules, okay?

Fool’s Gold

Fool’s Gold? By Paul Chapman, Managing Director, HornbyChapman Ltd   The general perception of a banker’s life to the man in the street – as long as that street is not in either the Square Mile or Canary Wharf – is one of a charmed existence; an enviable mixture of riches, glamour and excess where success and its trappings come easily. This image is fuelled by the popular media, with Gordon Gekko being the default poster boy for anything even vaguely related to financial services, resulting in ‘banker bashing’ effectively becoming a new national sport. However, as those of you reading this [...]

2013-12-03T16:12:45+00:00December 3rd, 2013|Comments Off on Fool’s Gold

A significant lack of interest

There is an old Latin American central bankers’ saying, which arose at the same time as Brady Bonds and the Latin American debt crisis of the early 1980s, which goes along the lines of: “It’s against my principle to pay interest, and against my interest to pay principal.” Nowadays, the lack of interest on debt or, more accurately, dead cash balances ‘loaned’ to banks overnight—NII, or Net Interest Income to give it its technical name—has had a huge impact on the profitability or otherwise, of the major custodial banks. The reduction of NII, due in part to better managed balances, but primarily [...]

2013-10-02T14:17:21+00:00October 2nd, 2013|Comments Off on A significant lack of interest

In a nutshell

In my last column, I suggested that as the market appears to have started to pick up somewhat, now might be an opportune time to dust off and submit your CV. In my course of work, I’m often asked to opine on a person’s resume, and before I do I always respond with the maxim ‘ask 10 recruiters what should be in a perfect CV and you’ll likely get 15 responses back’. In reality, there’s no perfect CV in the same way, thankfully, as there’s no such perfect candidate. However, there are some golden rules, which, if they aren’t followed, make it [...]

2013-09-10T07:59:44+00:00September 10th, 2013|Comments Off on In a nutshell

The sun always shines on the righteous

As I sit here enjoying the tremendous weather—yes, before you ask, I’m away again, this time in Boston but it could just as well be London given the fact it’s 90 degrees and very sunny—the UK has had Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, Justin Rose winning the US Open, England taking a great lead in the Ashes series, the Lions winning in Australia, Chris Froome heading the Tour de France, and we still have the British Open Golf to come with a host of strong domestic contenders.  How could things possibly improve on this, I hear you ask? Well, let me tell you—a [...]

2013-09-10T07:58:14+00:00September 10th, 2013|Comments Off on The sun always shines on the righteous

Many a slip

Perhaps it’s because I’m sitting at a desk and not out where I ideally should be, namely grouse shooting on the Glorious Twelfth—damn this uptick in the jobs market—but I feel something of a rant coming on. In my line of work there are a multitude of frustrations, from there being too many links in the recruitment chain, fears of disintermediation by interested parties and lack of focus on the hiring process, to a reluctance to take a broader view on candidates or be bold with hiring initiatives. The best ‘hires’ take place when all four parties involved—the hiring manager, the HR [...]

2013-09-10T07:56:36+00:00September 10th, 2013|Comments Off on Many a slip

Time for a cheeky career move?

  While critically analysing the pros and cons of Cheryl Cole’s latest tattoo (do Google it if you haven’t noticed it already), my thoughts turned to the obvious question of permanence. Short of quite drastic cosmetic surgery, our Cheryl will be stuck with her florid roses forever. In the world of employment, however, few things are permanent—whether they want to or not, whether expected or not, anyone can be let go from their role with, literally, a moment’s notice. Conversely, and increasingly nowadays, the shoe is also on the other foot in that candidates are choosing to take control of their own [...]

2013-09-09T21:34:21+00:00September 9th, 2013|Comments Off on Time for a cheeky career move?