The dirtiest words in finance: front, middle and back office.
Who really wants to work in a place called “back or middle” office?
This “front, middle and back office” terminology is so dated that it is actually becoming a risk to the finance industry. In the “war for talent” that finance is in with the technology industry, how do we recruit top STEM grads if the technology department is “middle” rather than “front” office? We will lose every time. It’s been suggested that the answer is that we move technology, or part of it, into front office. But that is missing the point.
People want to know that they have a purpose and are recognised for it but this dated terminology implies a class system which undermines purpose and recognition. This isn’t just a socially uncomfortable position to take today, it is also wrong. In a time when Operational Risk is getting so much focus in the finance industry, cyber is front of everyone’s mind, and culture and reputation are the big buzz words, every single employee could be a huge risk to the firm or a major asset. How we treat them, how we talk about them and how we value them has to change.