Wall Street firms are being taken over by 22-year-olds - here are the big banks that rely on junior talent the most

bankersPeter MacDiarmid/Getty ImagesJunior bankers are taking over Wall Street.Peter MacDiarmid/Getty Images

  • Wall Street investment banks are spending more on tech and eliminating rote tasks that used to go to junior staff.
  • But the banks aren't cutting back on their crops of recent college grads - if anything, they're relying more on younger workers.
  • Analysis of FINRA records by efinancialcareers shows that nearly one-fifth of Finra-licensed employees at the big New York banks are brand new to the business.  
  • Some banks, like Barclays and Goldman Sachs, rely more heavily on first years than others. 
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As Wall Street banks spend billions to upgrade technology and automate tasks, the mundane and tedious work that used to define the early years of a career at an investment bank is increasingly disappearing, with bots and algorithms springing into action to take over. 

JPMorgan Chase, for instance, is digitizing dealmaking, using machine learning for elements of underwriting stocks and bonds and saving hundreds of thousands of hours of work in the process. Goldman Sachs is automating initial public offerings, stripping out half the roughly 130 steps in the process and delegating them to computers. 

But despite the elimination of analyst-level grunt work, banks aren't cutting back on their crops of recent college grads.

If anything, Wall Street is increasingly relying on their most junior employees. They're just filling their 80-hour work weeks with more substantive responsibilities. 

See also: Wall Streeters fled to Silicon Valley to chase riches, influence, and a better life. Now they're bouncing back to banking.

Finra records show that at some top banks more than 20% of registered employees have one year of experience or less, according to analysis by efinancialcareers

Using the Finra database, efinancialcareers looked at all the employees at top New York banks with initial Finra registration dates of 2018 or earlier. They then compared that figure to the banks' total New York headcount, according to FINRA's count.

They found that nearly one-fifth of FINRA-licensed employees at the big banks are brand new to the business.  

Barclays, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs lead the way, each with a proportion of first years exceeding 21%. Bank of America and Morgan Stanley rely the least on fresh grads - 15.7% and 16.2%, respectively. 

Here's the full ranking:

 

 

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