Where can you find the best-dressed bankers?

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Apparently, if you want to be the new "George Clooney of finance" (remember Mark Carney?), BNP Paribas is your place to be!

Research by Emolument suggests nearly 40% of BNP bankers are still wedded to formal dress at all times, compared to just 20% at J.P. Morgan. [...]
In London, insiders suggest BNP staff are more sharply dressed than the rest because a comparatively high percentage are from France or Italy, where sartorial rectitude is more highly prized than in London or New York.
One French trader tells us he always has at least 15 white shirts with his initials embroidered on the cuff, for example.
From this article

Is the "Italian/French = Stylish" axiom still valid though? Honestly, I have seen many more bankers in Milan dressing chinos or sweaters rather than in London. Quite a stereotype imo.

Comments (31)

 
Sep 15, 2017 - 11:41pm

I'd agree on the stereotyping. Confirmation bias? probably.

"I don't see why I need a a stylist When I shop so much I can speak Italian" - Kanye West

“The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and i am no quite sure that i know that.” Socrates
 
Oct 27, 2017 - 4:49am

Not biased at all. Interned at a large euro ib and they had discounts at the major tailors because of how much they frequented (nyc). Needless to say when i showed up in a suit i got from jcpennys, (as an intern mind you) the day was filled with laughter.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.
 
Dec 12, 2017 - 4:36am

Truthfully speaking the socialist gov't isn't that bad. And no most people dont work 30hrs week.

Its only a certain category of employees whose salary is capped at 30k€ if I rememeber correctly. If you are a banker you do not fall into that category. Though yes, the lunch here is excessively long.

"The markets are always changing , and they are always the same."
 
Dec 13, 2017 - 2:01pm

We had guys come in from Deutsche in Moscow. Not sure if that's how they do it daily back in Moscow, probably purposefully making us feel and look "cheap", but they were quite the sight...

Obnoxiously bright Charvets, freshly-made extra tight shiny suits. One guy brought a ridiculous monogrammed LV briefcase with his (gilded) initials engraved right in the middle. It was all extremely pompous and over the top. But the "cherry on top" was the guy in charge who sported an enormous sapphire ring while repeatedly stuffing his massive Cartier watch in our faces. We were so stunned by the display didn't even know whether to laugh or cry.

 
Dec 12, 2017 - 5:09pm

Because they are all new money over there so such behaviours are the acceptable standard in their society (among those who can afford it).

And I'dd add that two further aspects to consider are that they made a lot of this new money, and in ways which may not be perfectly honourable, considering Russia's moral and institutional decay after the USSR.

 
Dec 12, 2017 - 6:15pm

We don't embrace such things because US has largely been a leader in goods & innovation for decades. As the saying goes, "Communism is waiting in line to get a loaf of bread. Capitalism is waiting in line to get your iPhone".

I asked an older Russian co-worker about Russians and their excess. He said it has nothing to do with crudity. It's just that Russia was closed off from the rest of the world for years. So Russian people (USSR era and beyond) sat in mass deficit and struggle on food rations, etc. with no access to products (foods, electronics, etc.) that the rest of the world deemed basic for generations. And when Russia "globalized" in late 90's suddenly Russians had access to this huge sea of amazing goods. So with their newly-gained mass wealth the oligarchs became like children in a toy store for the first time. They want to buy and try it all, and boast it in front of their friends in the process. I guess the sentiment spilled into the younger generation.

 
Dec 12, 2017 - 10:24am

I've already heard this about BNP Paribas. But efinancialcareers is not that reliable, they love rumours and will take statements by a single person as true, hype it and make two articles about it, proceeding to quote her in every following article that barely touches the topic. It's entertaining though, and I like it.

I'm not that certain a high percentage of London BNP bankers are from Italy, but I suppose they do have many bankers from France and the continent in general.

Where have you seen Milanese bankers in sweaters? On fridays? In which division? I agree that London remains conservative (it's the City after all) and that there's a stereotype about Italy and France. The formality percentage makes relative sense because one would have to consider how many are employed in IBD at JPM and BNP London. From my (limited) experience, usually, all IBD bankers in London wear formal dress, while traders don't.

 
Dec 12, 2017 - 11:55am

That sounds way too complicated. Simplicity is best. For example, I've always gotten admiring looks around the office for my cowboy boots with spurs, assless leather chaps, leather jacket and cowboy hat combo...

"I'm talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars, buddy. A player. Or nothing. " -GG
 
Dec 13, 2017 - 7:36am

As someone who has been working a lot in France, including BNP in Paris, I don't totally agree with that. To me, best dressed people were found in London (this article speaks about Milan's and Paris Stylish sense as if London didn't have any Fashion and Tailoring history...). Milan and Paris would come close seconds. Then Francfort. NYC and its oversized suits and tolerated brown-in-town would be by far the last...

 
Dec 13, 2017 - 4:32pm

That's funny as the alto-tight in the crotch highwater suit fad has been in full swing.
I rarely see any bloated suits outside of a Warren buffet-type.

RomaneeConti:

As someone who has been working a lot in France, including BNP in Paris, I don't totally agree with that. To me, best dressed people were found in London (this article speaks about Milan's and Paris Stylish sense as if London didn't have any Fashion and Tailoring history...). Milan and Paris would come close seconds. Then Francfort. NYC and its oversized suits and tolerated brown-in-town would be by far the last...

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
 
Dec 16, 2017 - 9:54am

I spent some time overseas and was often flying out of FRA and LHR, undoubtedly the most bankers-heavy airports. I could always track (business) travellers from the US: those baggy suits still appear in my nightmares.
Going to the original question: probably London is the most stylish due to the diverse population and century-old traditions.
The worst is the South (basically, it's Charlotte, WF & BofA) and the Midwest (I do love Chicago) but it's a quintessence of fratboys from Tier2 schools. Predictably, if you've grown up in Nebraska and gone to Urbana-Champaign, nobody will ever teach you a good taste, nor will you see examples to follow.

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