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Maryam Omidi

01 Oct 2010

It appears that the BBC has a rather broad definition of the term “investment bankers”. Two of this year’s 16-strong crop of would-be apprentices to Sir Alan Sugar fit this description, according to the Beeb’s website [ ]. But are they worthy of such a lofty title?

BBC/Talkback BBC/Talkback

PR firm Taylor Herring has confirmed that neither Chris Bates nor Liz Locke is an investment banker – both simply worked at investment banks.

Bates, however, has been quick to talk up his credentials and praise his own ability to land a job at JP Morgan during “the biggest recession we’ve ever seen”. But then modesty doesn’t appear to be in Bates’ vocabulary. The 23-year-old from Surrey describes himself as “exceptional for his age group” and is passionate about rugby, Gordon Ramsay and money-making. Intelligence, he says, is his biggest strength.

His other gems include:

“I’m a gifted all-round individual at the end of the day. Somebody who’s exceptional for their age group.”


“I want to be the person who is recognised universally as being a pinnacle of excellence in whatever it is I do.”

During a nine-month stint at JP Morgan, he carried out regulatory checks on the bank’s clients, according to sources familiar with the situation, a far cry from the client-facing bankers in the advisory and capital market parts of the business. But his super confidence may yet get him there, should he fail to land a job under Sugar.

The second of the candidates is former trader Locke, 24, who lives in Birmingham. Her BBC page states that fashion, food and fitness are “all key to the former trader’s lifestyle”.

According to the Financial Services Authority register, Locke worked at UBS for five months between 2007 and 2008 and then at Tilney Investment Management, now Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management, for three months last year. UBS declined to comment. Deutsche declined to comment.

Locke likens herself to a Lamborghini – “fast, exciting, stylish and successful”.

Sugar may want to bear in mind that Lamborghinis are also known to be over-the-top, difficult to control and expensive to maintain.


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