A number of brokerage portfolio strategists have sought refuge at new firms or jumped to the buy side. Mark Howdle, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney's London-based European strategist, is going a step further. He's quitting the City to teach and study at the University of Cambridge. "I'm 48, and I've been doing finance for about 17 years," says Howdle, who joined SSSB in 1998. "You become more conscious of the wear-and-tear factor as you get older."
He will be returning to Cambridge's Wolfson College, where he received his undergraduate degree in English literature in the mid-1970s. His research will focus on European integration. The veteran strategist notes that integration was the dominant investment theme in the 1990s, as monetary union and widespread privatization began to transform Europe into a dynamic capital market. "I will be thinking about the same issues but without the constraint of asking, What do you buy, what do you sell?"