Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Big Fat And Hairy...

What do the following have in common:


They were all started during a Recession by people under 25.

I remember sitting behind 8 trading screens on the trading floor at Investment Bank KBC Peel Hunt when the CEO at the time, Tim Cockroft announced his departure.

I was making a market in about 200 Alternative Investment Market equities and my trading partner was on lunch.

The next day a very young looking Corporate Financier called Simon Hayes stepped in as CEO.

I remember my thoughts at the time...

How did he get there?

What did he do differently from all the others?

How did he do it so young?

This really sparked an interest in me and the very next week I stepped out of my comfort zone, knocked on his door and told him why I wanted to follow in his footsteps and move into Corporate Finance.

A Big, Fat, Hairy Statement I know.

To this day, I still don't know what made me do it, but something inside of me told me to follow in the footsteps of those who are achieving the results you want to achieve.

My observations after obsessing over the subject of achievement in Banking & Finance for 10 years is that top achievers all do things differently from the rest.

They all see opportunity while others see fear.

You see, when I spoke with Simon Hayes, his age was not an issue.

He seemed ultra confident and ultra ambitious.

But, where did that come from?

How about Sidney Weinberg, the father of the modern Goldman Sachs as we know it,

The guy who steps up from nothing to Partner at such a young age.

His first job was holding peoples places in bank run queues for a spot.

He confidently decided to knock on the door of 24 Wall Street companies asking for work. (When was the last time anybody did that? Well I did actually believe it or not)

After receiving 24 rejections, he was hired by Goldman Sachs to assist the porter, by 37 he was made a partner and built its Investment Banking division.

What is the difference?

If he can do this, why not you?


If not you, then who?

Its not MBA's or Masters that make the difference, believe me.

Why have we lost touch of reality?

Why do we think that success is a result of education and circumstance?

What happened to our fighting entrepreneurial spirit?

Why is everybody leaving university like cloned sheep?

What happened to our unique contribution?

I hear from many students and graduates who have completed their education and now find themselves in an economy that does not want them just yet.

Perhaps it is because they are identifying themselves as their education.

I receive hundreds of emails of those looking for opportunity in Banking & Finance where the first thing that somebody says is...

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