People leave investment banking for a number of different reasons – some are laid off, others become burnt out, some want a better work / life balance and others have just made enough money to try something else. Others, of course, join the media – commenting on the industry from a safe distance, or writing a book about their real (or imagined) exploits.

Well, we want to find out what some of the folks who have left the industry are up to, and how they are making their living these days. Here are just two examples of two former bankers doing something different – enjoying the freedom to do things their way, and being successful to boot.

Adrian Ezra left the industry as few years back (he was a trader), and established his own specialist financial markets recruitment business, ExecuZen, in 2000. With 17 consultants and 11 researchers around the world, the firm has a presence on the ground in London, New York, Madrid and a fledgling Asian operation. The firm is now recognised as a key player in the markets it covers. Ezra feels that his time in the industry has helped him in his new career: ‘Most of our team have a strong banking background, and we firmly believe that the service we provide is of a much higher standard because we understand more acutely the needs of both candidates and clients’.

And Sophie Kingsley left her position as a City HR Director a few months back, to start a luxury candle business, EI8HT Candles, with a partner. A luxury goods product, the candles are handmade by specialist traditional artisans, and are poured into hand finished re-fillable ceramic bowls. Sophie said that ‘I had always wanted to run my own business. Although I loved my time in the City, I was searching for something where I could have the freedom to call the shots and make my own mistakes. I was also after a better ‘work/life’ balance – how wrong was I on that! I’ve never worked harder – but it’s a different kind of work, and much more rewarding’.

If you know someone (or are someone) who worked in the financial markets, and has gone on to do something different, tell us about it by mailing us on [email protected]