Karen Ho- Culture of Investment Banking

Topics: Banking, Investment banking, Investment banks Pages: 3 (868 words) Published: April 29, 2013
The Culture of Investment Banking

The workplace culture of investment banking is one that could be described to being similar to that of a lion’s den. In the animal kingdom the lion is the most fierce, savage, and overall king of the jungle. To translate into investment banking, the graduates of Ivy League schools such as Princeton, Yale, and Harvard are also the kings of Wall Street. These top tier schools continually pump out “lions” for top Wall Street firms to pick up. The culture of Wall Street is founded upon an elite mentality that is embedded in prospective employees the moment they step foot on any of the Ivy League campuses. There is a constant cycle that occurs that companies have honed in on and perfected to a science. Risk taking is a quality that any successful investment banker has experiencing both the good and bad sides of it. These companies want prospective employees to understand the importance of the short-term profit. The short-term profit is how they will be making both themselves and the company money. Karen Ho describes how many different directors and people she had interacted with considered whom themselves smart. There is also a very big ego attached to this ideology of investors being the smartest humans alive. People such as John Carlton constantly reiterated how being smart was a main characteristic that he had and all Wall Street investors shared. The theory of “cultural smartness” is the brain of how Wall Street investment banking is handled. It is how investment bankers spread their views, practices, ideals, and models on both the personal and business level. (Ho, p.40) Smartness isn’t only based on academic or critical thinking, it is something much more complicated than that. It deals with how well you can close deals with top executives; your appearance, being physically fit, and the list can go on and on. In essence having cultural smartness is the same thing as being well rounded but perfect in...
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