Posts Tagged ‘Cityboy’

Geraint Anderson ‘Just Business’ interview

Friday, June 17th, 2011

We last interviewed Geraint Anderson in 2010, we caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to since.

What is this new book about?

Geraint Anderson City Boy suitIt’s about a mid-30’s stockbroker who’s doing too much coke and becomes convinced he’s going to get sacked just before bonus time (I don’t know where I get my inspiration from!) He breaks into his boss’ computer to find out if his fears are correct and uncovers a multi-million pound conspiracy. He and his on-off girlfriend have to go on the run abroad after he’s framed for a murder. It’s a humor-filled thriller with enough sex, drugs and rock and roll to keep most people happy! It should be a rip-roaring holiday read.

How much of this book is based on your real experiences?

Geraint Anderson City Boy suitThe central character Steve Jones is a good-looking, charismatic man – men want to be him, women want to be with him … but that’s where the similarity ends! All my experiences in the City are funneled into the book but I never got chased by gun-toting Colombian hit men.

Will you be continuing the adventures of Steve Jones in a future book?

Yep, I’m working on the third one which will see Steve take revenge ….

Other than writing this book what have you been doing since we last interviewed you in June 2010?

I got married, went on a three month honeymoon in SE Asia, moved to a cottage in Wales and am about to have my first baby … not much apart from that.

Do you still take an interest in the world of banking and finance?

Absolutely. I still do the odd bit of TV, radio and write the occasional article about the City so I make sure I keep in touch.

Do you ever wish you could go back into that life again?

Never – life is so much better now. I’m free, doing what I want to do, learning to surf and living a healthier existence. The only things I sometimes miss is the routine that a job gives you, the camaraderie and the regular boozy Michelin-starred meals courtesy of my bank’s shareholders!

Has the banking world changed much since the crash?

It’s not as much fun now … summer/Xmas parties are sombre affairs, expense accounts are minuscule, people are worried about their jobs, bonuses are down, everyone’s being professional and firms are even more bureaucratic. Bubbles are much more fun … I preferred it back in my day!

What do you think will be the cause of the next big crash?

Israel will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Middle East will explode and the price of oil will hit $200 / barrel and we’ll have a serious recession … and if you believe that you’ll believe anything.

What is next for you?

Becoming a father, improving my rubbish surfing and writing new books. That should keep me busy for the next 25 years!

You can buy Just Business by Geraint Anderson from Amazon.

Kindle Edition

Geraint Anderson Cityboy interview

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Whilst working in the city Geraint Anderson was the anonymous author of the Cityboy newspaper column. In 2008 he published his first book “Cityboy”: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile.

1. How would you describe what you currently do for a living?

Geraint Anderson CityboyI’m a writer / free lance journalist as well as travelling surfer wannabe. After 12 long, hard years in the City I’m now essentially doing exactly what I want to do with my life… what I’ve always wanted to do.

2. Because of the recession I only have enough money to buy one of your two books. Which one should I get and why?

Oh, without the slightest doubt ‘Cityboy – Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile‘. It’s rammed full of decent gags, insights into the loony bin I used to work in and, what’s more, it’s a true story about how greed and egotism (and biblical amounts of ‘rage powder’) can turn an almost decent human being (i.e. me) into a world-class, copper-bottomed tosspot. I may be completely disillusional but when historians come to study the recent crisis I hope that as well as all the sensible accounts by Hank Paulson etc, they read my book to understand what really made the Square Mile tick.Geraint Anderson Cityboy - Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile book

3. Is there going to be a third book? If so what will it be about?

Yep, just finishing it now in my fiancé’s caravan in Kerry, Ireland between surfs. In fact, this interview is f*&king stopping me working / surfing! The next book is a novel about a bloke who writes an anonymous column for a London-based newspaper. He’s doing too much gak and gets paranoid about being discovered (I don’t know where I get my inspiration from!) His fears make him break into his boss’s computer where he discovers a major crime. It’s a thriller with some romance and lots of humour. God-willing it will be in bookshops within 5 months.

4. You were a utilities analyst for many years. If you had to go back to a life of working in the city, what job would you choose?

Oh, hedge fund manager without a doubt. Join up, take some ludicrously huge gambles that if they come good will earn you millions within a year and then bugger off back to some tropical beach (having given half my ‘winnings’ to a charity of course).

5. Ironically the credit crunch seems to have increased people’s interest in living a ‘cityboy’ lifestyle. Lots of people are having a go at day trading. Do you think most of them are just wasting their money?

The ironic tragedy of my first book (that was partly a warning about the pointlessness/destructiveness of a City lifestyle) is that most of the emails I receive from readers ask me about how to get a job as a merchant banker! Perhaps that has something to do with the protagonist (me) earning 1/2 a bar after 7 years in his job, having vast amounts of food/booze/strippers paid for my expense account and having nubile, Eastern European gold diggers throw themselves at me (as if!). Most day traders are wasting their time because they lack an informational advantage over the insiders.

6. Do you do any trading in shares, forex or other financial instruments?

I did buy £30K’s worth of FTSE 100 blue chips in late October 2008. I looked like a right dingbat for 5 months but now things have come good.

7. What advice could you give our readers to help them become richer, (and avoid losing it all in the next crash!)?

Don’t have kids and stay off the marching powder.

8. What could be done to prevent another crash?

All the usual crap I’ve been spouting off about for the last 2 years – tighter regulation, tougher scrutiny, changes to bonus culture, splitting casino activities and normal lending etc.

9. If you were chancellor what would you do to reduce our massive deficit?

Christ – you obviously haven’t read my book! I succeeded through partying hard and ruthless office politics. I haven’t got a clue about economics and all that crap (I did history at uni). Whilst I’d be well able to provide some clichéd bulls**t answer after about 3 minutes on Google, I don’t want to insult your readers’ intelligence by doing so.

10. And finally is Hugo Bentley a real person? Will you ever reveal who it is?

All the characters in the book are based on real people (though a couple are amalgams). I have to be very careful what I say re: Hugo as he’s richer than me and could drag my bony arse through court for defamation if he so desired (if he were a real person that is).

You can keep up to date with what Geraint is doing at his website.

Geraint Anderson’s books “Cityboy”: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile and Cityboy: 50 Ways to Survive the Crunch are available now from Amazon and all good book shops.

Review: Cityboy: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile

Friday, June 26th, 2009

“Cityboy”: Beer and Loathing in the Square Mile is a novel by Geraint Anderson based on the years he spent working as a utilities analyst for a variety of banks in the City of London. Geraint first started writing an anonymous column called ‘Cityboy’, which appeared each week in the free evening paper ‘thelondonpaper’. The column became very popular as he revealed the stories of excess and backstabbing that were an everyday event in the line of work in which he was involved.

In 2008 he decided to reveal his identity and this book was timed to be released soon after. As luck would have it (for him!) he released the book just as the media’s attention was focusing on the finance industry due to the credit crunch and impending recession.

Geraint makes it clear that this book isn’t autobiographical. It is a novel, but he says the characters and events are typical of what he observed whilst working in the square mile. The ‘hero’ of the story is Steve, a bit of a hippy with not much ambition and lacking in a career until his brother arranged an interview with a French bank. Somehow he got the job and was plunged into the exiting world of being a utilities analyst.

Geraint clearly doesn’t think highly of the life of a financial analyst. He describes the job as being about coming up with a vaguely plausible explanation of which way a share price will move and occasionally publishing these findings as a research note. It doesn’t matter if the note is wrong as long as it has been written in a way that covers your back! Once the note is published the analyst will travel round trying to persuade clients of the value of the note, in the hope that they will then place orders and trades with the bank. More trade equals more bonus – and it is bonuses which appear to be the major motivating factor of the people in the book.

Steve doesn’t take the job too seriously until he has an encounter with the number one rated utilities analyst – Hugo Bentley. Hugo is arrogant, successful, rich – everything the young Steve wants to be. He irritates Steve to such an extent that Steve makes it his life’s goal to beat Hugo to the spot of being the number one rated utilities analyst.

To do this he has to attract more and more commission from his clients, and work an every increasing number of hours. Along with the hours comes a whole host of bad behavior. Drug usage and heavy drinking are all in a days work for Steve, as are expensive holidays and even more expensive bets.

This book is a fun and quick read. It will certainly make you more skeptical of what an analyst does for a living, and probably make you jealous that some people can make so much, for doing so little.