Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Drinks evenings for gay London bankers

Although I've been working as an investment banker in London since I left university in the late 1980's, until recently I was unaware that there's a regular social gathering in London for gay bankers to meet other gay bankers. Curiously, within the space of a couple of days I was told about these events by two different people (one of whom is one of my readers and who recently started his own blog).

Interbank drinks inviteThe drinks evenings seem to take place around the middle of the month, in a smart venue in The City of London. Inspired by the soccer World Cup no doubt, the invite to the recent event carried a rather horny picture of a few footballer's legs, together with the wording:
Please join us at the Interbank drinks evening: supporting a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender space in the City. Interbank drinks is a professional networking event that offers the opportunity to meet and socialise with other LGBT people working within the financial services industry in an informal business environment.
I have yet to attend one of these events, however I've been in touch with the organisers for more information. The format is basically drinks after work on a weekday evening, with anywhere from 120 to 200 people attending. It's apparently organic socialising rather than introductions, so people who go along tend to bring a friend initially to avoid having no one to talk to! The event is organised by the LGBT Interbank Forum, which is a committee that aims:
  • To create an open and inclusive forum for LGBT employees from the Investment Banking community to meet and discuss issues impacting LGBT employees in their day-to-day work environment.
  • To enable the sharing of best practices between the employee networks of the member banks so as to assist them to cultivate an environment that is inclusive and supportive of LGBT employees.
  • To provide a forum for developing an appropriate collective response to LGBT issues that benefits each of the member banks and reflects positively on the Investment Banking industry's commitment to the LGBT community.
  • To promote and encourage networking opportunities for the members of the employee networks of member banks.
So presumably there are a few core banks ("member banks") who set the whole thing up.

How come I've only heard of this recently? There was definitely nothing like this when I started working in the investment banking business all those years ago. One of the four aims above implies that it's related to the existence of the gay networking groups that all the main banks seem to have these days just for their own staff. Earlier in my career I might well have attended an event organised by such a group. But even though I've heard of these internal networking groups at a couple of the banks that I've worked for over the last few years, I always thought that any internal event would be a bit dull so I never bothered to investigate. However Interbank drinks, with gay guys from across the whole City, is a much more exciting prospect :-).

Anyway, if there are any gay bankers who read my blog who want to know more, I'll happily try and put you in touch with the organisers. Just send me an e-mail, and I'll forward it on.

Meanwhile, I must try and attend one of these drinks evenings. Having worked in The City for so long, there's bound to be someone that I'll meet there who I didn't know was gay, and that's always an entertaining experience!

Update 14-Oct-2012: see my post about the interbank web site.


cuteCTguy said...

Thanks GB for the plug. Unfair if you go - you would see have your readers!!!
To the others - its a fun relaxed event.. not really cruisy (unless you want it to be) though predictably enough half my gym was there. Which was kind of nice to say hello to guys I see in classes.
There is also another drinks event called My Village - that supposed to bring lawyers, bankers and those involved in Politics together. Not sure thats a good combo!!

ziggystardust73 said...

so exclusive. You have to be gay AND a banker to attend.

oops. That's me out.


cuteCTguy said...

Ziggy.. technically no. My mate who is an insurance broker came along with me. Anyone can go.

info said...

The other event you mention is called Village Drinks. It's a social event for gay professionals in London and elsewere. I'm actually involved in helping to organise their events; we all have a great time making the events happen. We started the events because we were sick of the usual bars and clubs in soho, and we wanted to create something a little bit different. You can find the site here and find out about what we are doing: Hope that's helpful. Lee x

sunshine said...

That sure happened some time ago...
Do you know whether these parties keep on going?

I am in the reinsruance industry - and that kind of falls within the scope of the people...

GB said...

Yes sunshine, the interbank drinks event still happens regularly :-).

GB xxx

William said...

When/where etc?

andy said...

I live in Zurich and was a member of Network a gay manager club for 8 years. The club has some 300 mebers among them many bankers. Network regards itself as the club for "the Gay Elite...". I recently quit from Network after some very bad experiences I made since I had to leave my job for health reasons! I'm financially secure in my mid-fifties but no longer a member of the daily rat race. I'm not the first member to leave the club for being mobbed after a livestyle change; being it for health reasons a change to a more quiet job etc. All the ethical principals which the club is constantly braging about: Tolerance, Solidarity amongst Gays, Equal Rights etc. seem just to be a big bluff when it comes to real life!

Snobism, Arrogance und Intrigues are predominant. When the so called Gay Elite cannot behave normal towards members who are less fortunate and have been tested by lifes destiny, are sick or have annother misfortune, then I obviously dont want to be part of such a hypocritical circle of people!

I hope this will not be your experience in your London circle and you will meet fine people who do have a real understanding of life and do not define their being according to their bank account or some other superficial statussymbols.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where is the next event and how to get into the guest list or get an invitation?


GB said...

Apart from being too lazy to get a google account so that he can leave attributable comments, looks like the last Anonymous commenter didn't read the penultimate paragraph of this post either :-(

GB xxx

FIA said...

Can a gay actuary come along? lol

Now that would make an already exclusive group even more exclusive! :)

Thierry Bellefroid said...

hi I am really interested in attending the interbank drinks. I work with a bank in central london and I am a fit 25 yr ol' man. GB can you please email me the details of the next interbank drinks :) at . I would really appreciate that :)

Anonymous said...

i am not sure is the are still on, after crush - they all gone? No?