VPs and MDs are finding analysts unusually annoying

The next generation of fresh young talent irritating the living daylights out of you is a tale as old as time, no matter where you are.

George Orwell said it best. “Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” The problem is that “Gen Z” is… Particularly annoying, particularly in banking. 

Former JPMorgan VP Wais Achikzad has been gauging the extent to which Gen Z bankers irritate those above them. In recent months, he’s conducted interviews with 22 people in “leadership seats”, managing anywhere between 5 and 200 people, and ranking between VP and MD in seniority.

The vast majority of those Achikzad interviewed (18 out of 22) saw the management-related aspects of their roles as the single least desirable aspect of their job. A strong majority (16 out of 22) had a particular frustration with “the new generation of employees”, whom they didn’t think will succeed in the field.

The difference between what Achikzad is saying and your boomer uncle ranting at dinner about the people that built this damn country, is that he actually cares about the kids (Achikzad, that is). “All this can be remedied,” he says, but bank “leadership hasn’t evolved – nor the culture.”

Achikzad says the VPs and MDs managing Gen Z in banking have commitment issues. “What my peers would say about their frustrations with the new crop of talent,” he says, is “that they are not as engaged as they should be and are easily distracted.”

Generational ADHD is a real problem with very real consequences. “Stats show Gen Z are quitting faster than ever in our industry – and or quiet quitting – which leads to disengagement and a lack of productivity.” 

High finance has always been attractive to the best of the best. If even the Übermensch recruited by investment banks, with high quartile intelligence, stamina, and creativity cannot deal with a “traditional” 80-hour work week – who will?

 As Achikzad says, “They don’t want to put in the work to get the results they want.” Those results are compensation and fast promotion. Additionally, zoomers (members of Gen Z) are a “Generation that has a problem with coming to the office as much as they are required to.”

But is anyone actually doing anything about it?

Well, Achikzad, hopefully. Partnering with Kasia Siwosz, a former investment banker herself, they’re trying to teach big banks, hedge funds, and asset managers a rulebook. The zoomer rulebook. What that means exactly is unclear – the curriculum is still under construction – but the idea is to assimilate the TikTok generation with the tick, tock one.

“If we don’t adjust how we relate and connect to our new crop of talent then they will never realize their potential,” Achikzad says. God forbid.

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