Analysts don't usually hog the headlines, but Crystelle Pereira is no ordinary banker.
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employee has a talent for cakes, pastries and pies, good enough to have earned her a spot in the final of the "Great British Bake Off," the wildly popular reality-TV show known in the U.S. as the "Great British Baking Show."
Her bakes that most impressed the judges -- the much-feared Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith -- incorporated ingredients as varied as miso, tahini and yuzu. The show reaches its conclusion this week (spoiler alert), with Pereira facing off against Chirag "Chigs" Parmar and Giuseppe Dell'Anno after early favorite Jürgen Krauss's shock exit in the semi-final.
The competition was held over the summer and viewers don't know if she'll win, but Pereira, who works for the asset management division, is already back in the bank's London office. Her success has drawn plenty of attention from colleagues and clients in recent weeks, making the 26-year-old one of the best-known faces in the City of London.
It's not just a flood of congratulatory emails. At a recent client meeting Pereira attended, 90% of the lunch was spent discussing her experience on the show, a person familiar with the matter said.
"Even my clients are now learning the news," Pereira said for an in-house interview published on Goldman's internal site in September. "It's created a nice atmosphere and, given the last two years, it's been a nice positive distraction."
Pereira, who joined Goldman in 2018 having previously interned at the bank, is an analyst on the lender's Insurance Asset Management team. She applied to the show on a whim after spending time baking over lockdown, according to the September interview.
"When I finally got the call to say I had made the final 12, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing," she said, crediting her Portuguese-Goan upbringing for her cooking skills. Of the three bakes that make up each episode, she said the technical challenge -- where contestants must cook a recipe without practicing it -- was the hardest.
"I am very much a planner - for instance, when I go on holiday, I put together an itinerary and have everything planned far in advance," she said. "I have a huge fear of the unknown and I was absolutely petrified of what was hiding underneath that gingham cloth."
Pereira is the second Goldman employee to feature on the show. Antony Amourdoux, a vice president in the markets division, appeared on the 2018 season.
Despite having a "Bake Off" finalist in their ranks, the title of best baker in Pereira's wider team may be up for grabs. At a team bake-along earlier in the year -- before her selection for the show was known -- several rated their own cupcakes above hers.
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