Here's the latest from our Highly Placed Professional.
I was idly looking through Bloomberg news last week when I saw the article about new client entertainment trends.
Wall Streeters are now offering their clients sweaty spin classes or other fitness training. Then it’s a quick health drink (rather than a few beers) and off home to the family and bed.
What a refreshing change from the obligatory 6 hours of solid drinking, accompanied by some massive dinner and presumably suitable words of mutual appreciation and undying respect and friendship that we sales folk have come to associate with a jet-fuelled evening out with clients!
You might make the obvious connection that all this healthy stuff is a more general acceptance among us financial folks of the attempts to clean up the markets following the financial crisis and a growing number of scandals - but I think you’ll be disappointed by the reality.
Despite the fact that the added pressure of alcoholic excess in pursuit of deeper client relationships is bad for your health (especially after long stressed-out days at work), you’ll still find the number of people entertaining in a raw fitness studio environment relatively few and far between.
I’ve taken clients on hiking trips; I’ve played tennis, squash and, of course, golfed with them, but I’ve never gone as far as sitting side-by-side with them on a stationary bike for 45 minutes being yelled at by a twenty-something pup dressed in Lycra! And there’s no doubt in my mind that a spot of lunch or dinner remains the time-proven and most effective way to get to know the people you deal with to earn your living.
I’d like to think there was a new world of happy clappy City sportspeople who spin, jog and juice their way as the promised land beckons, but it’s not happening in London any time soon.
In the meantime we’ll wine and dine our way to some sort of working relationship. Old City habits die hard, and to those over-zealous Wall Street over-achievers all I can say is: ‘On yer bike!’
image: © Christopher Bowns