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Morning Coffee: Barclays now doing away with 85 people a day. A* student’s career demise

Barclays job cuts

The traffic's only moving in one direction at Barclays

It works, it really works. The method of cutting heads pioneered by CEO Jes Staley and advocated by banking analysts at J.P. Morgan is a good one. 

The Financial Times reports that Barclays has reduced its headcount by 8,000 people in four months. With 160 working days in those months, this implies that Barclays has been averaging the removal of 50 people per day. Recently, however, it’s upped the tempo – the FT says 2,000 people have gone from Barclays since Staley spoke at a conference on March 15th, implying 85 disappearances every weekday.

As we’ve reported previously, Staley’s method of eradicating headcount is simple: he doesn’t hire anyone. When someone leaves Barclays, their position remains empty unless filled internally (leaving another position vacant, we assume). This being the case, the recent uptick in the pace of headcount reduction is almost certainly due to people leaving Barclays after bonuses were paid late in March.  Staley may win plaudits for cutting headcount, but is he just encouraging Barclays’ people to go into early retirement or find new jobs elsewhere?

Separately, the Wall Street Journal related the sorry story of Parvinder Thiara, a Harvard graduate and, “straight-A student, a two-time state math champion, a star golfer.” In 2009, Thiara joined hedge fund D.E. Shaw’s macro group after graduating and for a while everything went very well. His ascension was “rapid and unusual” according to the WSJ and the fund he worked on gained nearly 8% last year. However, Thiara came unstuck for failing to adhere to D.E. Shaw’s intraday risk guidelines and failing to share “sufficient details” of his trading with executives. He left the fund in November and told the WSJ he, “doesn’t want to speak.”

“Traders don’t get second chances after 2008, especially at large, high-quality hedge funds,” said one hedge fund investor. You have been warned.

Meanwhile:

Three ex-Bluecrest partners are setting up their very own hedge fund. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs is actually doing ok in fixed income trading. (Bloomberg) 

Nomura’s making layoffs in its leveraged loan business, focusing on M&A. (Reuters) 

Nomura has been cutting people in its high yield, distressed debt and asset-backed securities divisions in London. (Bloomberg) 

Citi’s (ok) living will wasn’t great: there were shortcomings in governance, assumptions about the bank’s ability to hedge portfolio risk and estimating liquidity needs during resolution. (WSJ) 

Well’s Fargo’s living will was the worst. (WSJ)

Never mention Brexit at Goldman Sachs. (Sky)

Citi just donated around £250k to the campaign to keep Britain in Europe. (Fortune) 

Hedge fund manager Andrew Law wants Britain to stay in the EU. (Financial Times) 

It is quite extraordinary that the principal center for euro-denominated financial transactions is outside the eurozone. (Project Syndiate)  

J.P. Morgan got rid of 30 relationship managers in Asia as it focuses on clients with a lot of assets. (Financial Times) 

BNP Paribas’s plans for cutting jobs in the corporate and investment bank are about to be revealed. (Reuters) 

Your equities sales or trading job is only safe if you work for a bank that makes $2-$3bn in revenues per year. (Gadfly) 

The UK regulator wants British ECM bankers to produce a “preliminary prospectus” with the price blocked out every time a company announces a decision to float. (Financial Times) 

90% of people who went to Oxford and Cambridge Universities are earning less than £100k ten years after graduation. (Bloomberg)

A helpful introduction to machine learning. (R2d3) 

Your personal trainer is the modern equivalent of a medieval serf.  (The Conversation) 

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