Top banks turn to armed forces for personnel

What do leadership, teamwork and problem-solving have in common? They are all attributes equally important for a career in the Armed Forces, as well as in the banking sector. 

At least, that seems to be the rational of major banks such as JPMorgan, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs which have all, in recent years, increased the number of people they recruit from the army, marines and navy. 

With British operations in Afghanistan slowly coming to an end amid cuts to the UK’s defence budget, banks like Morgan Stanley have been running quarterly career transition workshops since 2010. In fact, this year it decided to create ex-forces internships in institutional sales, trading, and finance and operations. 

And in 2011, JP Morgan started up a formal internship programme to expose ex-servicemen and women to different parts of the bank. A global head of sovereign clients at JPMorgan Asset Management had previously spent five years in the army and noted said that the skills and characteristics of people leaving the armed forces tend to be a good fit for banks. “Their teamwork, ethos and philosophy are very appealing. There is an organisational approach to getting projects completed and work done. They have very high standards of integrity.” 

Meanwhile, Citi and Goldman Sachs have also begun similar initiatives which focus on helping people who have already decided to leave the army, rather than trying to poach persons still in service. 

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