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Commerzbank breaks down barriers


For children with backgrounds of poverty, neglect and abuse, the City can seem an incomprehensible and daunting place. Commerzbank's head of treasuries, Can Biritrim, however, is keen to show them it can be a source of support. Working with the charity Kids Company, which supports London children who have severe behavioural, emotional and social difficulties as a result of childhood trauma or neglect, Biritrim, together with head of prop trading Tim Fisher, invited three of the children the charity works with to the London office for the day.

The children were shown the boardrooms and trading floor, and given the opportunity to see how trades were executed, before being taken for lunch at one of the pinstripe brigade's favourite eating places, Simpsons.

"I wanted to show these children that there are no barriers in society, and to take the mystique out of the City," says Biritrim, who grew up in a working-class area of north London. "I'm not saying, look you can all be bond traders, but I want to show them that they can achieve anything they want, and that they are not being judged. That may sound clichéd to you and me, but to children with such backgrounds, it is very meaningful."

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