DEFINITION of 'Bullpen'

The slang term given to an area where junior employees are all grouped closely together in a single room, while more senior employees graduate to more spacious work arrangements or individual offices. A bullpen seating arrangement is common within certain financial fields, particularly investment banking and investment management, where lower-level analysts all perform similar functions.


The idea behind bullpen seating is that a class of recent hires will join the firm at approximately the same time, undergo training together and then work together to gain experience more rapidly. Bullpen seating also serves as an informal status system, in which employees must work their way up in order to gain more luxurious working environments. It can also be interpreted as a reference to the financial term "bull," an investor or trader who takes an optimistic perspective on the market.

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