When people complain about technology jobs in investment banks, there are usually a few points of commonality. - They're overworked and underpaid, use too much legacy technology, and are forced to jump on conference calls with offshore offices late at night. There's also the bureaucracy: banks aren't start-ups and they're heavily constrained by regulations.
One young banking technologist has decided to leave the industry and do something completely different. Daniil Tarakanov left a large U.S. investment bank earlier this month and has started a company that runs advertisements on private cars.
"Working at the bank I felt that my impact was quite limited," says Tarakanov. "It was all about reducing transaction costs, innovating through bureaucracy. I want to apply my skills to a real world problem."
Tarakanov has set up AddyCar, a company that arranges for drivers of private cars to run advertisements on their vehicles. "Our drivers mostly work in trades - builders, plumbers, electricians, so they have to drive to do their jobs," says Tarakanov. "Advertising income will allow them to pay for the car running costs, easing their financial burden."
AddyCar's website suggests that drivers can earn up to £150 a month depending upon how much of their car is covered in ads and how many miles they drive. Tarakanov says the business could have a positive social impact by helping people to make money on the side.
Tarakanov went into banking tech after graduating from Imperial College in 2016 and was an associate when he left. He is the latest in a succession of technologists from across banking who break out and become entrepreneurs. - Whereas, once, it was investment bankers who left for start-ups, the most entrepreneurial people in finance are now often located in technology divisions. And technologists (unlike bankers) are in a position to implement their web start-up ideas themselves.
Like most people who leave banking to work on their start-up idea, Tarakanov isn't entirely dismissive of the possibility that he might return. "I hope to stay on the entrepreneurial path, but would probably go back into banking if things don’t pan out. After all, I had a great experience at the bank and enjoyed my role within those constraints," he says.
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