Becoming a bellboy for the buyside
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Becoming a bellboy for the buyside

I never fail to be amused by stories from friends who jump ship to the buyside and end up having a miserable time.

A Singapore-based pal of mine, after years of slaving over clients and being chained to the desk, decided to ditch the scene because it was getting too crowded and the bonuses too thin.

Once unshackled from the day-to-day demands of investment banking he thought he had found nirvana. Oh dear.

He started a small outfit with two other partners in Hong Kong, but because the rents are so expensive in the CBD they decided they couldn’t afford to put him up at the Four Seasons or some other fancy hotel whenever he comes to town.

And so, because he is expected to travel to Hong Kong often, his accommodation when he is here will be the conference room.

Yes, you heard that right. After everyone’s retired for the night, that crumpled sofa in the corner is going to double up as his bed.

What tickled me most was that such was the tightness of this particular budget, he had to go and buy all the furniture himself. That meant several delightful trips to and fro lugging the lot around Hong Kong’s beloved MTR. 

No offence to my fund manager friends, but they don’t call us bankers the masters of the universe for nothing.

And to my dear friend, I hope you enjoy the slog. It’ll be worth every penny-pinching moment, I'm sure.