Exceptional juniors keep leaving Barclays and becoming entrepreneurs

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Barclays must be wondering what it's doing wrong. In the past year or so, the British bank has lost at least five juniors who've gone on to impressive things outside of finance. Insiders suggest the bank is becoming a breeding ground for technology entrepreneurs as a result.

The exits include: Alexander Opeagbe, a former power and utilities banker, who left after three years in June 2017; Kaysan Nikkhah, a London School of Economics graduate, who left Barclays in 2017; James Dean, formerly of Barclays' origination and structuring team, who left in April last year; Lewis Crosbie, a former junior on Barclays' M&A team, who quit recently to go to San Francisco; and Arjun Sofat, who left Barclays in February last year.

We've already profiled Sofat,who now runs Free Soul, a company offering nutritional supplements formulated for women, but the other ex-investment banking division juniors have so far gone beneath our radar.

Opeagbe is co-founder of Sparrow, an app which allows people to crowdsource travel solutions on busy commuter routes. Nikkhah has quietly become a venture capitalist, according to former colleagues. Dean founded Sensat, a company that converts visual and spatial data into a reality that allows computers to solve problems using artificial intelligence, and Crosbie left to go and run Sensat's U.S. office in SF.

The new careers of Barclays' former analysts and associates confirm that there is life after banking and threaten to set an example to current juniors with itchy feet. One Barclays junior who quit last year said that long hours were a problem:  “We’d get to the office at 9am and at 9am the next day we’d go home shower and then come back in again. I can remember feeling very excited when I got six hours’ sleep a night.”

Barclays didn't immediately respond to a request to comment. The bank introduced a raft of measures to make life easier for its junior bankers back in 2014.

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