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Morning Coffee: How to quit banking at 32 and still buy a £2m home. When Anshu Jain meets Deutsche clients himself

Still possible beyond banking

Still possible beyond banking

If you’re feeling trapped in your banking job and wondering how you’d pay your mortgage if you left and set up your own company, 37 year-old Stephen Fitzpatrick may provide you with some inspiration. Fitzpatrick – a former Edinburgh University student, has just bought a £2m family home despite quitting banking five years’ ago aged 32.

How did Fitzpatrick achieve this feat? Post-SocGen, he founded Ovo Energy, a new-UK energy provider based in the Cotswolds with  £350k of his own money. The Guardian reports that Fitzpatrick just cashed out £2m of his shares in Ovo Energy to buy a Gloucestershire home close to its headquarters for his young family.

What sounds like a happy tale of an ex-trader who managed to make it in the cruel world outside financial services, has the potential for a prickly ending, however. Fitzpatrick’s move has reportedly raised eyebrows as Ovo struggles to establish itself in Britain’s cutthroat energy market. Last year, the company made a profit of just £300k and had net liabilities of £9m. Fitzpatrick was paid a salary of  £120k, along with £2m of shares, putting his compensation on a par with Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of Centrica. It’s those shares, awarded in August 2013 (which seemingly have a far shorter deferral than share payments in banks) that Fitzpatrick has just sold. The purchaser appears to be Ovo Group, which the Guardian reports is also owned by the Fitzpatrick Family. Suddenly, leaving banking to set up your own business looks like a lucrative option after all.

Separately, banks like Deutsche Bank employ hundreds of professional schmoozers (‘coverage bankers) to seduce their clients for them, so why is Anshu Jain – an ex-fixed income salesperson-turned-Deutsche CEO – out meeting clients himself? We can only assume that it’s because the clients are very special and located in a strategically important area where Deutsche wants to expand.

This is so. The Wall Street Journal reports that Jain himself has been pressing flesh with wealthy individuals who could be clients of the German bank’s wealth management unit, which it wants to make a bigger thing of in future. The WSJ says Jain was personally horrified that Deutsche was working with CEOs and CFOs on major corporate finance transactions without selling those same executives any wealth management products,  Deutsche has since been ‘combing through the investment bank’s deal list. to identify likely clients and make amends. Jain and the wealth managers are then pitching Deutsche’s services to the clients concerned. This looks like a leading indicator of growth and strategic hiring to come – especially in Deutsche’s focal points of Asia and the US.

Meanwhile:

US regulators have accused JPMorgan’s private bankers of steering clients towards JPMorgan’s own products. Cross-selling can sometimes get you into trouble. (WSJ) 

Three former UBS bankers, including ex-chief executive Luqman Arnold, are setting up a boutique advisory business. They’re unlikely to be hiring yet, but disaffected UBS M&A bankers may want to bookmark the name. (CityAm)

This is why Luqman Arnold says senior bankers should want to work for boutiques: “individuals [at the big firms], are held to sales targets and feel they can’t serve with complete integrity.” (FT) 

It can be a good thing when senior colleagues leave for hedge funds – at Citi it’s led to promotions for a Citi veteran of 21 years and for an ex-BAML equity derivatives trader who joined in 2012. (WSJ)

The technology team in RBS’s markets business is in flux – the CIO has just left amidst a cost cutting programme. (Computer Weekly) 

The next trading scandal? Deutsche and HSBC accused of manipulating the silver fix. (Bloomberg)

Goldman Sachs doesn’t usually hire mid-ranking staff externally, but in Canada it’s just hired an VP level investment banker from a portfolio management company. (Bloomberg) 

With job cuts imminent and bonuses almost certain to fall Barclays’ New York-based fixed income traders are trying to escape. (Financial News) 

The life and times of Alan Greenberg,  deceased Wall Street titan, and a throwback to an age when you could still rise from clerk to partner. (NYTimes)  

Being powerful distorts your perception of time, makes you think it passes more slowly. (Atlantic) 

A quick way to tell whether your cover letter’s any good. (Daily Muse)  

Related articles:

Ex-Citi trader’s guide to spotting talent in schools. Where to work in finance if you hate sharing

Deutsche’s entire FICC strategy at risk. Deutsche Bank MD extols anti-materialism

Ex Goldman VP advises on quitting the firm. Credit Suisse to make emerging markets and credit layoffs too?

 

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