Ex-Banker - Good Xmas, But What Next ?

The Evening Standard reports that a former Morgan Stanley investment banker is doing rather well out of selling Christmas trees and the paper contrasts his bounty with that of his former colleagues at the bank who are unlikely to get a big bonus this Christmas. But surely things are not that bad in the City ? The bankers that remain are at least gainfully employed in a job that will hopefully last a little longer than December 24th. And, remember, it will be at least a further 11 months before the market in Christmas trees picks up - even the M&A market could be back before then!

Not that I am getting at 25 year-old James Needham. All power to the former member of Morgan Stanley's European mergers and acquisitions department for being enterprising enough to capitalise on the Christmas tree market and selling 'hundreds' and delivering them in an old Volkswagen. It sure beats staying at home and spending the lay-off cash.

But surely Needham's former colleagues are not envious of him ? You really have to sell an awful lot of Christmas trees at £9 per foot to make up a decent basic salary, let alone any bonus that may be paid over to City professionals this season. And what happens after Christmas ? Will the entrepreneurial Needham move onwards and upwards under his own steam to greater things ? No. According to the newspaper, he aims to get back in the City after Christmas. Unfortunately, due to the state of the market, he'd probably be better off trying to flog Christmas trees!

Needham is to be applauded for his energy and have-a-go spirit, but the Standard should try and get things into perspective. Not too many of his former colleagues would swap with Needham now. Let's hope, however, that he is able to make a swift return to the profession he so recently left.

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