“Big investment banks don’t really care about a person’s sexuality. People are valued by how hard they work...”
How easy is it for gay people to succeed in the banking industry?
There are a lot of gay people working in the financial sector. They’re probably not as out as they should be, but the reality of it is, that a large part of the industry, particularly the city itself and the big investment banks, don’t really care about a person’s sexuality.
People are valued by how hard they work and how much profit they can generate for the organisation that employs them.
Investment banking has always been like that really. Now it’s even more so. It’s a shame that the whole industry is perceived as this straight white male dominated business. There are certainly plenty of them, and many do dominate certain sections, but the leaders in the city have really changed their perspectives in the last 15 years or so.
It’s so much more open and accessible now, which is probably why London has become the most important financial centre in the world. The leadership has modernised; it’s no longer concerned about the sexuality, or sex for that matter, of a person but about their output.
So, if a young gay person wanted to work in the city, I suggest they go into it as themselves. Be open about your sexuality. Don’t hide yourself, or stay closeted. If you go into the business without all that baggage you’ll have the confidence to succeed.
Gay people can do well in this industry. Many think that they can’t do the whole macho, deal-breaking side of the business; but it’s not true.
They are equally as capable as their heterosexual colleagues.
Robert Taylor is living proof that gay people are playing an integral part in the success of banking industry.
One of the City’s best known openly gay movers and shakers, Taylor was Head of Private Banking at Coutts & Co before becoming CEO of Kleinwort Benson, a private bank that looks after the finances of wealthy individuals and large corporations.
In 2011 he continues his role as chairman of the Whitechapel art gallery trustees, though Taylor stood down from his professional role to enjoy some personal time.
He married his partner, Michael Kallenbach, in a civil partnership in 2006.