Working At A Firm Embroiled In Scandal Not Great For The Ole Résumé: Study

Or the paycheck.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
By Captain-tucker (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

Are you currently, or have you ever been in the past, employed by a bank that screwed over millions of customers in an insanely brazen way? Or maybe a hedge fund where a large number of traders viewed insider trading laws merely as suggestions? Or hey, what about a company that ran a multi-decade, multi-billion dollar scam that destroyed everything in its path? Even if you had absolutely nothing to do with the scandals, even if the entirety of your interaction with those involved were the words "Who the f*ck are you", it's gonna cost you.

The Enrons and Worldcoms and Wells Fargos hurt the careers of innocent bystanders. It's a nasty and persistent reputational ripple effect that can be incredibly hard, and sometimes impossible, to counteract. Wells Fargo & Co., where bank employees tried to meet quotas and earn bonuses by opening sham accounts for customers without their knowledge, is the scandal of the hour. And it is executives in financial services firms that suffer the most from guilt by association, an article in the September Harvard Business Review suggests. Initial compensation at these executives' next job is about 10 percent lower than for that their untainted counterparts, the authors found. Across industries, job functions, levels of seniority, and regions, executives with such companies on their résumés took a cut of 4 percent in total compensation. Women were dinged 7 percent to men's 3 percent.

If you're currently reading this from Wells Faro and are interviewing for a new gig at 3 today, maybe consider changing the section listing your time at the bank to "several years spent finding myself."

That Scandal on Your Résumé Will Cost You—Even if It Isn’t Yours [Bloomberg]

Related

Dick Bové: Wells Fargo Is Managed Great If You Don't Take Into Account The Horrible Customer Service I've Received On Several Occasions, For Which Heads Should Roll

Picture this. You're world-renonwn bank analyst Dick Bové, famous for, among other things, issuing a report in summer 2008 about which banks were "next" to fail, not rolling over and taking it when Citigroup tried to screw you good, and standing by Ken Lewis when literally no one else (including his board) would. When you walk into rooms, people notice. More often than not, they ask you to pose for pictures, kiss their babies, sign their tits. Some have fainted in your presence. You're the fifth Beatle, Justin Bieber, and George Clooney, all wrapped into one devastating little package.  It should go without saying that an appearance by you at your local branch bank, to cash six-figure checks, as you often do, would be call for a red carpet and the crème de la crème of customer service, right? Apparently wrong. The following is an accounting of Dick Bové's experiences as Wells Fargo customer. (Originally he banked with Wachovia, who he had only good things to say about. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the degenerates he's encountered at WFC.) * "Dick Kovacevich, Wells retired CEO, felt strongly that customers should be greeted when they entered the branch and that the visit should be a positive experience. I can honestly state that no one ever greeted me when I entered my local branch. In fact, on one occassion, when I needed to speak with a platform person, I never got the opportunity. The bank officer made me wait a bit; came out of his office and entered the public bathroom; and left the bank." * "On a second occasion, I entered the branch with a low six figure check. I needed some information concerning more than one issue related to the deposit. After searching out an employee, I was told that he could not handle the transactions...It is interesting to note that no one at the branch suggested any investment to me but simply deposited the check. No one ever called me to indicate that there was over six figures sitting in a no interest checking account." * "What my Wells Fargo experience suggests is that a successful bank is one that keeps seeking new customers and selling them more products and not getting bogged down by offering service...My interaction with Wells has been an enlightening experience." Does Dick Bové "rate banks based on one person's anecdotal experience"? No, at this time he does not. If he did though, a bank--if you can call it that-- named Wells Fargo would be up shit's creek right about now. Because in the scenario in which DB did assign ratings based on his own interactions with management, WFC would have a giant red "U" across its chest, for "unacceptable" and caution tape around its buildings which would in turn be condemned and schedule for demolition at 9AM.