Being Gay in Investment Banking - London

Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen

Hey, this is probably a very different post from your usual "rank those BBs" but I would really appreciate getting some insight into how life is a gay man in London IBD given that I am contemplating coming out at my firm. I will be joining a BB in London this summer as an Analyst and during my SA stint, the topic seemed to be absolutely taboo and joking about girls was part of the standard etiquette to quickly get friendly with other people in the team.

Does anyone have any experience with coming out/being gay in London IBD? How did the others react? Did you feel it impacted your career/staffings?

I know that, at the end of the day, even negative outcomes might be just something I would have to accept but nonetheless would be grateful for any guidance on that process.

Many thanks in advance.

Comments (44)

Feb 16, 2020

edited because of the PC police.

Array

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 16, 2020

Avoid it, I am sure that it wont help in the dynamics. Everyone wants to share something in common, appetite for good looking girls is truly something that most IBankers have. To be honest, most girls in banking are hot, better % than in any other job. Breaking bonds that fast can have a lasting effect in your career or staffings.

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Feb 16, 2020

Do you know any banker who is openly gay? I have not heard about a single person at my firm's core IBD teams.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Feb 16, 2020

At my bank I know about a bisexual girl, not a single lesbian or gay to be honest

Feb 17, 2020

Dude most girls in banking are pretty ugly, wtf are you smoking?

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Feb 17, 2020

it is possible that he is frighteningly ugly, and thus has lower standards.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.

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Feb 16, 2020

previous two posts are from fucking idiots.

close friend of mine is lesbian, and was open about it with her bank from day one - not openly stating she was a lesbian tbf, but wouldn't lie about spending time with her girlfriend, that kind of thing.

you're gay, why bother trying to hide it? just be yourself my dude. i think it will be less of an issue than you think it is.

Thank you for your interest in the 2020 Investment Banking Full-time Analyst Programme (London) at JPMorgan Chase. After a thorough review of your application, we regret to inform you that we are unable to move forward with your candidacy at this time.

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Feb 16, 2020

Unfortunately, being gay is probably a bit harder than being lesbian (not trying to outdo anyone obv) since this culture of talking about girls is so integral to male culture in finance

Hiding it is obviously the easier choice since I have heard that repercussions to coming out can be substantial at times.

Feb 16, 2020

Wasn't there a Goldman executive who got fired for hiding it a few years back?

Feb 16, 2020

That's fucking crazy, lol. That can't be true.

Array

Feb 16, 2020

My mistake he got fired for being "too gay" for clients. Type in Goldman Sachs Gay and you'll find articles about it.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Restr
Feb 16, 2020

Are you starting at the same place you were for the summer? If so, that doesn't sound like the best place to come out. Honestly, just tell the people your close to like 2-3 months in and it will eventually spread. Don't make a big coming out statement.

Most Helpful
Feb 16, 2020

To be honest- quite surprised with all the comments telling you to hide who you are. There is absolutely no shame and nothing to worry about. Most BB have LGBT groups so find it and get to know the people. You could also find amazing mentors and everything will be okay.

My VP was gay and nobody cares. Your life and losers who don't respect That should be fired

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Feb 16, 2020

I personally don't know any gay men in investment banking. Most likely they exist but don't talk about it. I'm lesbian and was out at every place I interned by mentioning that my last vacation was with my gf or that we watched the new movie together. I haven't had an issue so far. But as you mentioned in an earlier comment, there might be a difference in the experience of gays and lesbians.

Here is a list with 100 LGBT+ executives. The banks with out executives are: Standard Chartered, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Macquarie, Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas, Citi, TD Bank Group, Bank of America, RBC, HSBC, Northern Trust.

Here are two articles about gay people on Wall Street, one from 1999 and one from 2017. Maybe you can glean some insights.

Edit: Similar thread a few months ago.

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Feb 18, 2020

I walked out of an elevator at one of the BB firms you mentioned and it had flyers posted for an LGBT+ fireside chat. Come out casually and don't make it a big deal and you'll be fine.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Ind
Feb 16, 2020

dont say it not because its a taboo but it is not anyone's business. you don't wanna be defined by being gay but by work. you don't want to become the gay analyst, you want to be become x insert first name who is known for their professionalism. especially at first. it is not about being gay but about how much you want to let people in your life. My best friend from work is a lesbian and she never wants to announce it because there is never any occasion to do so, so there is no need.

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Feb 16, 2020

One ED and VP in my team are both gay and open about it. I think that most people are open-minded when it comes to being LGBT+, though you are in banking so your private life shouldn't take over professionalism - ie don't be that gay guy (basically the stereotype that does not accurately represent what being gay actually is) with purple hair and that has very girly mimics.

Also close to an associate that is gay in financial services (Big4 TAS/MM M&A type) - happy to chat about this in PMs.

Feb 16, 2020

dude screw all these prior posts. you are awesome the way you are. don't let anyone else stop you or intimidate you from being the truest version of yourself. it's 2020 not 1990, being gay in the US is fine.

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  • Intern in IB - Gen
Feb 16, 2020

he said london

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  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Feb 17, 2020

I appreciate it, but unfortunately, it seems that the UK (outside of the London social scene), in contrast to the US, really isnt there yet.

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Feb 23, 2020

And you know this from ...experience?

Religion seems to be the largest cause of anti-LGBT bias (wherever in the world you are). Religion based anti-LGBT bias is considerably lower in the UK than it is in the US, by a long, long shot! (Though we have some largely Muslim areas where there is obviously more of a bias, they don't compare in numbers to the deeply religious anti-gay Christian sects in the US).

Even with abortion where religion used to have a big influence - England, Wales and Scotland settled the issue ages ago. Right to live / right to choose is just not a debate that comes up in our national conversations / TV programmes / elections, very unlike the US.

You will find that attitudes in the UK to gay people, even outside of London, is pretty chilled. In fact, make a public anti-gay comment and you can get arrested for a "hate crime" wherever in the country you are! Seriously.

In addition, a lot of firms are struggling to meet self-imposed inclusivity targets.

The UK is looking for the best people. We don't care if you're gay.

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  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Feb 17, 2020

Nobody cares, people will just judge your job performance. Principal in my PE fund is openly gay and married to a man, nobody F. cares and people went to his wedding. Good for him if he's happy

  • Incoming Analyst in IB - Gen
Feb 17, 2020

That's good to hear. Do you feel that there the culture in PE is more tolerant than IBD which seems more of a boys club to me (even though %-wise PE is just as male)?

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Feb 17, 2020

People are generally pretty smart and mature in both IBD and PE. I'm based in continental Europe. Culture in Europe is probably less fratty than in the US and people won't mind about it. You don't have to introduce yourself to everyone as a gay person, as I wont introduce myself as heterosexual each time I meet someone, it's just common sense.

Feb 17, 2020

Can't speak for London specifically, but I don't think anyone will care if you're gay. I wouldn't try to hide it or make a big statement about it either way. If it's a BB I would imagine they have LGBT events, so may be worth getting involved there. Only thing that matters is how good of an analyst you are.

Feb 17, 2020

send me a PM

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Funniest
Feb 17, 2020

You have nothing to worry about. All bankers are gay in one way or the other; some prefer to get fcked by clients, some prefer to get fcked by MDs and some prefer to get fcked by dudes.

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Feb 17, 2020

lmaooo

Feb 21, 2020

Deleted

Feb 23, 2020

We are all whoring ourselves out to the machine in some sense. Difference is the price point.

Feb 17, 2020

I can't speak on IB but I hope it wouldn't be all that different from CRE brokerage/Capital Markets in the following comparison: Nobody cares if you are an asset to the team. This is true whether you are straight/gay/married/single/whatever. You do not have to disclose if you don't want to but I am of the opinion that being true to yourself is beneficial both personally and professionally in the long-run.

I would not flaunt your relationship status or preferences but I would discourage anyone from doing this routinely regardless of status/preference. Professionalism is important. On the same coin, I would be confident in who you are and would not hide or lie about it when you feel it is appropriate.

One of the most popular team members at my firm is openly gay. He crushes his work and always has a great attitude in the office. As a result, he is one of the most well liked (and productive) members of our team. I can't be certain your firm will be the same but if they are not, I sincerely hope you find a place that is because in 2020 it is absolutely ridiculous for your sexual preference to have any impact on your career trajectory. Be confident in who you are and kill your work.

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Feb 17, 2020

this....

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

  • VP in IB-M&A
Feb 18, 2020

There are a few openly gay males at my bank (EB in NY), including some very successful MDs, and there is no zero issue. Nobody cares as long as your abilities and work product are there. 1% of the most recent partner MD class at GS identified as LGBT and 2% of the most recent MD class identified as LGBT

You have nothing to worry about. Be yourself

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Feb 18, 2020

If I were in your position, I would just go about my day and not hide anything. I would also not make a point of telling anyone. If someone asks, tell them the truth. If they don't, why bother? I think that way it makes it a non-issue for your coworkers. You won't seem dishonest or self-conscious for hiding it, nor will you come off as attention or special treatment seeking by making it a formal announcement.

Feb 19, 2020

How does liking the D have to do anything with IBD, or work in general?

Feb 21, 2020

The reality is as long as you don't make being "gay" as your primary identity, nobody is really going to care. There's an analyst in the class above me who was gay and he was chill about it and nobody gave two shits.

You be you OP.

  • Incoming Analyst in IB-M&A
Feb 23, 2020

so.. in my team there are a few MEN who are known to be gay. If you want to trust me you are gonna be fine. Let's think about this: are you gonna tel your desk "neighbour" that you like pasta with pesto? If things don't come out specifically on that topic no one would give a shit about what you eat etc. The same should be with you being gay. You like men, I'm so fine with it but I don't really see the point of making a big deal out of it. I never talked about my gf on the job, only if people explicitly asked me. You should definitely follow the same strategy. That also means that if guys see a good-looking woman and your mates make a comment about her, no one stops you from saying that she's pretty. I am straight and sometimes I admitted that a man was good looking. Anyway, just to sum it up, don't get into the office and say it out loud. I am the most open person in the world and some of my best friends are gay but I just don't see the point of that "i feel special cuz of it". Feel free to be yourself tho, IB is not only a place for douches luckily

Feb 23, 2020
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