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Morning Coffee: 28 year-old Citi associate insists muscled torso great for career. Ex-Goldman banker on $1m accused of incompetence

Torso feeble

Once upon a time, Nick Deakin was a scrawny MBA student at the London Business School. After spending a summer as an IBD associate at Citi, he apparently reached the conclusion that this was not a good look for an aspiring banker. To get ahead in IBD, Deakin decided you need the sort of muscled torso that Bill Winters, CEO of Standard Charterd, famously flashed for charity two years ago.  He set about achieving this torso. And he documented his progresss in a national magazine (Britain’s Spectator).

“A strong male physique is increasingly associated with success,” writes Deakin. “It’s a clear message to your peers that you’ve made it….In the corporate world, it’s everything.” In his pursuit of the perfect corporate torso, Deakin turned to Andy Pilides, a fitness instructor and writer who duly transformed him from feeble to fit in the space of 12 weeks. Shots of Deakin’s pre-and post-corporate torso are on public display here. 

Deakin claims to have transformed his physique with, “relatively little time commitment (three hours a week and some thinking about food)”. He says his physical metamorphosis has encouraged a whole new way of interacting in the office: “I feel more confident and assertive — which is really important in finance.”

There might be something in this. An academic study in 2014 revealed that hedge fund managers try to cultivate “warrior torsos” to counteract the effects of ageing.

Will achieving a six pack during a summer at Citi lead to a long career in investment banking? In Deakin’s case, this isn’t clear. His LinkedIn profile still says he’s a summer associate at Citi, rather than the fully fledged “banker” he purports to be in his Spectator article. Deakin’s MBA finishes in 2017, suggesting it will be around 10 months before he returns (assuming he does). Unfortunately, this is more than enough time for a six pack to dissipate.

Separately…Mark Carney. The ex-Goldman banker who heads the Bank of England for £879k ($1m) a year, has been feeling the full force of Britain’s notoriously bombastic press. The nation’s media and ‘Brexiteers’ would like to blame him for sterling’s decline following the Brexit referendum. Will the head of the ‘independent central bank’ tolerate this? Carney always said he would think about terminating his BofE contract in 2018; last week he indicated he might leave soon. 

Carney’s exit has the potential to rile markets. Interesting times lie ahead.

Meanwhile:

“If Carney is forced out, and is replaced with a right-wing, pro-Brexit politician, the consequences for sterling, gilt yields and the UK economy don’t bear thinking about.” (Coppola Comment) 

UBS says limitations to its ability to access EU markets from London could lead to, ‘potentially significant changes to our operations in the UK and our legal structure. (Financial News)

Why Barclays might have to rethink its European structure after Brexit: “”We are the largest underwriter of European sovereign debt and we want to maintain that position. We… are going to make sure we can prosecute strongly across continental Europe.” (The Week) 

At Goldman the number of people engaged in trading shares has fallen from a peak of 600 in 2000 to just two today. (Economist)

AQR’s Cliff Asness says humans will always be needed as stock pickers. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs, BlackRock Inc. and hedge fund Two Sigma are hiring coders through the website HackerRank. (Bloomberg) 

Vikesh Kotecha, former head of Barclays’ (now closed Asian equities business), has just been made head of equities trading at Barclays in Europe. (Financial News) 

Credit Suisse is talking to another bank about cost saving plans but will give no more information than that. (Financial Times)

James Rosenthal, the COO who helped move Morgan Stanley away from investment banking, is retiring. (WSJ)

Only young people can move to tech: The median age of workers at Facebook and LinkedIn is 29. At Google it is all of 30. (Financial Times) 


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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