The City of London’s New Laws of Attraction

Charming smile, assured voice, Anna goes straight to the point from the first minutes of the discussion: “What interests me is the money. » Making money, of course, but also understanding how money and its circuits work. Anna (all names have been changed) is a 28-year-old Swedish woman who has been working for the City, London, for seven months after studying economics and management. Like her boyfriend, Arthur, a 27-year-old Belgian, she started by trading online: a few cryptocurrencies, ETFs (financial products that track stock market indices), shares… “I like to see how money creates money. »

For years Anna has been preparing to work in finance, like her mother. Jean, a 27-year-old Frenchman, fell into it a bit by chance: a good student, the way opened up to him naturally. And the taste for added value too: he won 25,000 euros from a bet of 100 euros by betting on a little-known cryptocurrency. “I could even have won 400,000 euros if I had waited longer”, he regrets.

“Young people entering finance are either very good at math or want to get rich. It doesn’t change. » A former Goldman Sachs

Thirteen years after the great financial crisis of 2008, the City still attracts younger generations. The key to this article was given to us by a former Goldman Sachs veteran of the markets. Are the young people who work in finance different from the past, in search of meaning and aspiring to a more balanced life, as we sometimes hear? Not sure, he replies. “Young people entering finance are either very good at math or want to get rich. And that doesn’t change.” he answers. Generations pass, the City remains this same obscure object of desire… Anna and Jean are in the infancy of their careers and do not earn millions, far from it. Their annual salaries are around 40,000 euros, to which it will be necessary to add a few months of bonuses. They are not traders or investment bankers, but work in two different companies in the service of clients, taking care of monitoring the positions taken by them on the markets.

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At the opposite end of the spectrum is Lars, another Swede. Between his salary and his bonus, he receives more than half a million euros per year at 32 years old. His profession is private equity, that is, buying companies not listed on the stock exchange, restructuring them and reselling them after a few years. The work is very interesting: at a young age, he sits on several boards of directors, makes strategic decisions for these companies, sometimes spends very long nights preparing acquisitions… “But above all it is difficult not to talk about the good remuneration”, he states bluntly.

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The City of London’s New Laws of Attraction

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