Lucy Kellaway on bankers

She doesn’t believe that they create much value or add to the happiness of the world, even though they work long hours.

The work of a banker in M&A [mergers and acquisitions] … is hardly the sort of thing that spreads human happiness: all the studies show that more than half the deals bankers have talked clients into undertaking destroy rather than create value. ….

Whenever I’ve listened to presentations by investment bankers, what impressed me most was the scale of the waste. Bound copies of slides are handed around on paper so thick it would do for wedding invitations. There are too many show-off facts and diagrams; the presentation is too long and given by too many people. The main message: we are busting a gut to justify the king’s ransom we are charging you.

Lucy Kellaway, “Working round the clock is a poor use of time“, Financial Times, 26 August 2013.

So much for the theory that we are all paid our marginal product. Lucy Kellaway (born 1959) is the FT management columnist.


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