Simon Joseland

Simon Joseland

Simon writes for FinBuzz about people, deals, notorious M&As, and all things finance.
Simon Joseland

You don’t have to be beautiful to work in banking, but good looks may help boost your career. Especially if you want to work in the front office where people are of above average attractiveness, revealed Equity capital markets (ECM) were voted as most attractive, followed by sales. Trading and technology don’t rank as high in terms of common facial attractiveness.

This is the outcome of an ‘experiment’ ran by in which 60 profile photos of people (men and women) in these careers were selected at random and rated for facial attractiveness by members of our editorial team who were oblivious to the origins of the photos. 10 teachers were added for the purity of “experiment”.

If editors are any judge of objective aesthetics, some professions in finance are more attractive than others. And the average finance professional is more attractive than the average teacher.

lifestyle blogger, to tout stocks. It’s no coincidence that live streams of attractive female analystsFinancial Times pointed out last year, banks and professional services employers are becoming ‘faceist’ – they favour good-looking people. Less good-looking types, even if they’re perfectly talented, are overlooked. And before anyone calls sexism, it applies equally to men as to women. Attractiveness sells, as noted by the Chinese brokerage which has begun using Xenia Tchoumitcheva (photo), the model and once interned in sales at J.P. Morgan, nor that Bank of America hired an ‘America’s Next Top Model’ contestant as a director in equity derivative sales.

Related:  Are women better finance bosses than men?

“There are a lot of beautiful salespeople in the City, men and women,” says one London banker. “Sales is a honey trap,” he adds. “There’s a lot of emphasis on wellness and health and faddy diets.”

“Men in sales are often good looking. They go to the gym a lot and more likely to be full of themselves,” observes an insider. “They’re not hired deliberately. It’s an unconscious bias. Banks aren’t going to hire purely on looks – they want someone who can do the job.”

A former J.P. Morgan banker says ECM attracts beautiful types because ECM is quite simple and there’s a lot of client hand-holding. “The typical ECM guy is easy on the eye, very sociable, not too smart,” he says.

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