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Not all that long ago, I was told the story of a senior associate at one of the City’s most well-known and profitable firms who was taken out by the managing partner for a ‘swift drink’ after work. After a bit of discreet and self-conscious mumbling along the lines of: “I’ve had my eye on you for some time”, the associate was offered a cigar and the immortal line: “We think it’s time you were one of us”. So unprepared for the event was the recipient, that it took a moment for him to realise that he was being offered partnership rather than some barely imaginable alternative.

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