BusinessCorporate FinanceOn the money with Damian Wild

On the money with Damian Wild

Poor Business Week. No sooner had the well-regarded US magazine published its third annual Best Places to Launch a Career survey than the world of US business was turned on its head

Damian Wild, Accountancy Age

Suddenly Lehman Brothers is looking like a decidedly unattractive place to
launch a career, far from its attributed 29th best place. According to the
survey the bank wants team players bursting with analytical and leadership
skills.

I bet it does – but do the next generation of Masters of the Universe want
Lehmans after it filed for bankruptcy protection this week? I doubt it.

And then there’s Merrill Lynch. Placed 21st on the league table, in 2008 it
had to whittle down 20,000 applications for entry-level jobs to just 434 – a 2%
conversion rate. Will it be quite so attractive a place to launch a career in
2009 after its sale to Bank of America?

Perhaps it will recover – but it does make you wonder how Bank of America
failed to break the top 50 when its struggling rivals did so well.

That, of course, is the real problem with these surveys. All too often, with
the ink on the page barely dry, they are overtaken by events. It’s happened to
us.

Two years ago in our Top 50 league table we championed the extraordinary
growth of the Midlands firm Wenham Major.

OK, it took almost a year before that extraordinary growth was discovered to
have been built on a web of irregularities (in Business Week’s case the cover
date of its careers edition was Monday, the day after Wall Street ate itself)
but it still felt uncomfortably close.

I am tempted to speculate about the likely fate of others on the Business
Week list – but my lawyer advises me against it.

Damian Wild is editor-in-chief of Accountancy Age

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