27 June 2005
Odds favour prince working for a U.S. bank
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince William may be headed for a U.S. investment bank when he works for a City financial house for a month late this year, according to bookmakers on Monday.
Betting firm Cantor Index has opened a market on the likely destination of the 23-year-old prince, with Merrill Lynch and the investment arm of JP Morgan Chase emerging among the favourites along with blue-blooded UK institutions including Barclays Capital and Schroders .
The asset management industry is seen as a likely track for the young geography graduate given his potential interest in family trusts and the long-standing links between the monarchy and charitable work, bankers said.
In its list of "Runners and Riders", the City bookmaker had Merrill Lynch at five to four odds, in part because family friend Edward van Cutsem already works in its investment management arm.
"We of course would be happy to accommodate him," a spokesman for Merrill Lynch said.
Merrill Lynch Investment Management is also one of the biggest managers of charitable funds including the Prince's Trust, which was founded by Prince Charles.
JP Morgan Asset Management, formerly JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management, was favoured as an outside chance at six to one.
The more obvious JP Morgan Cazenove is said to have ruled itself out as a candidate, according to Cantor Index, which said, "it will not come under starter's orders".
Barclays Capital, headed by American-born Bob Diamond, was rated at three to one, and boutique merchant bank Schroders at four to one.
Barclays Private Bank, where Lord Robert Fellowes, Prince William's uncle and a former private secretary to the Queen, is a director is rated at eight to one.