Why tech firms are attracting bankers

You’d have to be mad to give up a seven-figure salary at a big investment bank to scrape a living in tech. But that’s exactly what a growing number of bankers are doing. Bankers switch careers to tech

Stu Taylor, the global head of matched principal trading at UBS Group, did it, setting up Algomi Ltd. This is a startup bond sales management platform used by traders, portfolio managers and investors.

Investment in tech is booming. So-called ‘zero-salary’ posts at tech startups are seen as a good investment.

Global investment in FinTech has increased five-fold since 2010 to $13.7 billion, according to CB Insights. Investment trebled last year alone, data from Accenture shows.

Such is the way things are going in the booming FinTech industry, Wall Street is now more attractive for startups than Silicon Valley.

According to Gust, in the second quarter of 2015, New York beat California for the total number of applications for funding requests.

This is largely down to FinTech’s appeal and the requirement for tech firms to get the best finance industry professionals.

Career moves are simply a reflection of the wider changes taking place as tech and finance converge.

Technology is going to have the biggest effect on banking in the coming years, most finance industry insiders would agree. A survey from Willis shows the single largest worry for bankers is the cost of technology.

But another factor, as Bloomberg notes, is labour market economics.

In North America, there were 212,100 fewer bond broker jobs and other credit intermediation roles in January this year compared to the start of 2008. In sharp contrast, there are 500,000 job openings in software development and cybersecurity.

However, there is no shortage of roles going in London. Morgan McKinley said job vacancies in the City’s financial services industry jumped 56 per cent in June. Hakan Enver, operations director at the firm, said: "All the data we are seeing shows that there is a robust market for financial services jobs in the City."

What we have is a seemingly very restless workforce. A report from Options Group showed half of employees at European banks are considering a change of jobs.

Few broker roles, more tech jobs and soaring investment in FinTech - it's no wonder bankers are switching.