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Morning Coffee: Whatever became of Colin Fan? Goldman banker regrets excessive use of smartphone

Colin Fan

Colin Fan admonishing with Deutsche traders on his viral video

It’s not often that bank executives disappear into total oblivion when they leave a job. Like Bob Diamond or Vikram Pandit, they usually find a new project to get busy with. If they’re a trader they might start a hedge fund. If they’re inordinately wealthy, they’ll start a fund to manage their own money. If they’re Gael De Boissard, they’ll go on a five month skiing trip to Greenland. Colin Fan, ex-head of Deutsche’s corporate banking and securities arm could be doing all these things or none: no one’s heard of him since he left Deutsche Bank last November.

Fan – now aged 43 – worked for Deutsche for 17 lucrative years between 1998 and 2015. Had he so wished, he would therefore have amassed sufficient funds to construct a deluxe underground bunker and never come out. Now, however, Fan is due to be dragged back into the light: he’s accused of profiting from,’ a series of trades that may have improperly generated millions of dollars in personal profits.’

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fan and several colleagues stepped in with their own money when Deutsche struggled to offload risk resulting from a $750m deal involving Axa in 2009. Fan invested $1m in index-arbitrage trades linked to the deal, and is thought to have made approximately $9m as a result. Deutsche’s current co-head of global credit trading, John Pipilis, and André Muschallik, a senior salesman still at Deutsche, also participated.

The controversial trades are currently under investigation by U.S. and European regulators. Fan denies any wrongdoing. Even if he’s exonerated, it will still be too late for his Deutsche career – the WSJ says this is the reason Fan was let go last year.

The great irony is that Fan was the man who made Deutsche’s viral video extolling the bank’s traders not to be vulgar and to be well-behaved. Perversely, Fan himself now stands accused of committing a grave misdemeanor. Under Deutsche’s notoriously harsh claw back policy, he could also find some of his most recent bonuses removed.

Separately, what do Goldman Sachs bankers regret when they become aged 30+? No, it’s not the long days and the short nights, it’s the over-use of their phones. “If I were graduating today, I would… put down my smartphone whether in work meetings or family dinners and give them my full attention,” reflects Stephanie Hu in Goldman’s Hong Kong Merchant Banking Division.

Meanwhile:

John Cryan says Deutsche is “unreservedly” committed to the markets business which constitutes an “indispensable element” of the bank’s strategy. (Financial Times) 

“Through its current strong setup in Frankfurt and London, Deutsche Bank is well positioned to steer through possible short and long term consequences of a Brexit,” said Cryan. (Reuters) 

Investors vote again Deutsche’s executive pay scheme because it awards divisional bonuses based on vague targets: “In view of the current situation of Deutsche Bank, and the significant increase in fixed salaries in recent years, we reject the new pay scheme for the management board.”  (Financial Times)

UBS has cut “at least a dozen” jobs in London. (Bloomberg) 

Jerome Kerviel wants €5.7bn in compensation from SocGen. (Bloomberg)

Steve Cohen employs his brother as an accountant. (Reuters)

Omni Partners is shutting a macro fund: ““After thoughtful consideration, I have chosen to step back from trading and running the fund in order to pursue other goals and ambitions.” (Bloomberg)

Och Ziff must have a corporate jet. (Financial Times)

Tribal people sleep for an average of 6.5 hours a day and their bedtimes are regulated by temperature, not daylight. (Economist) 

The best students go to bed after 1am. (Quartz)

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