How do bankers escape the City to make it as an entrepreneur?

Edith Hancock
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Would you trade it all in to sell ear muffs? (Source: Getty)

Bankers have a long history of flexing their creative and marketing muscles once in a while to start their own firms, sometimes with mixed success.

This year, former City banker Oli Brookes took a step back from Square Mile life. He joined up with fellow entrepreneur Dan Zell to set up a company that now brings stylish footwear to well-heeled workers across the country; The London Sock Exchange.

Then of course, many choose to follow their passions. For former senior exec at Sumitomo Bank Mark Gordon, that passion was beer. Setting up the Wimbledon Brewery in 2013, the ex-banker poached a master brewer with 40 years of experience in London’s most famous breweries (Truman and Fullers to name a couple). Another tip for would-be businessmen: contacts are crucial.

Better known amongst City types is former Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch investment alumnus Ali Parsa. The serial banker quit Goldman Sachs in 2001 to start healthcare company Circle, dubbed “revolutionary” and a shining example of how the NHS should be run on its launch in 2004. He’s now running a second healthcare business Babylon.

One common theme is to remind everyone of your City roots, as Brookes, Gordon and Parsa have when plugging their new projects.

The newest City boy to join the ranks is Tim Baros, formerly of RBS and Deutsche Bank, who’s found a rare niche in the market. Apparently you cannot buy ear muffs that fold neatly into a person’s handbag or briefcase in the UK, so the US-born banker turned his hand to sales.

The Capitalist was sent a delightful pair of earmuffs that do indeed fold up nicely, but one word of advice; do check your spelling before you send out a promotional gift and letter.

While it’s customary to play up your achievements to future investors and customers, we doubt that Tim Baros is a “former bank”.

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