Wednesday, July 17

The Worst Part of a Wall Street Career May Be Coming to an End

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If they persevere, they move up the ranks to associate, then director and managing director; a handful end up running divisions. Although grueling, the life of a senior banker can be glamorous, involving traveling around the globe to pitch clients and working on big-money corporate merger deals. Many who get through the two-year analyst program have gone on to become business titans — the billionaires Michael Bloomberg and Stephen Schwarzman began their careers in investment banking — but a majority will leave before or after their two years are up, bank representatives said.

There are jokes among junior bankers that the most common tasks of the job involve dragging icons from one side of a document to another, only to be asked to replace the icon over and again.

“One hundred percent drudgery and boring,” said Gabriel Stengel, a former banking analyst who left the industry two years ago. Val Srinivas, a senior researcher for banking at Deloitte, said a lot of the work involved “gathering material, poring through it and putting it through a different format.”

Gregory Larkin, another former banking analyst, said the new technology would start “a civil war” inside Wall Street’s biggest firms by tilting the balance of power to technologists who program A.I. tools, as opposed to the bankers who use them — to say nothing of technology giants like Microsoft and Google, which license much of the A.I. technology to banks for hefty fees.

“A.I. will enable us to do tasks that take 10 hours in 10 seconds,” said Jay Horine, co-head of investment banking at JPMorgan, describing analyst jobs. “My hope and belief is it will allow the job to be more interesting.”

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