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Morning Coffee: How Goldman Sachs gets its people to talk to each other. J.P. Morgan MD ruins his career

Goldman Sachs teamwork

Goldman Sachs is to teamwork as Donald Trump is to tall towers: the two things are usually considered inseparable. Even so, sometimes even the most team-oriented organization needs a tweak to avoid the solipsism that comes of sitting in cubicles and staring at screens all day.

Goldman has gone for that tweak. Bloomberg reports that Goldman’s new Manhattan trading hub will apply a pseudo-revolutionary concept to encourage collaboration: employees will set next to each other.

This may sound like the kind of revelation school teachers had hundreds of years ago, but at Goldman it’s a novel concept. Bloomberg says the firm is redesigning the downtown Manhattan offices of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) so that some of its employees will get to sit “shoulder-to-shoulder” instead of at desks “scattered across three floors.” A Goldman spokesman says the new arrangement should “encourage greater collaboration” between GSAM’s investment teams and increase the “opportunities for and qualities of their interactions.” There will also be two pantries and a coffee bar to encourage further chatting, along with a conference room to house 70 people. It’s not all about the collaborative interface though: Goldman’s also throwing in a “bank of phone booths for holding private conversations.” Personability has its limits.

Separately, ex-J.P. Morgan MD Timothy Fletcher must rue the day he helped hire substandard 20 year-olds with important parents into J.P. Morgan. CNN reports that Fletcher is facing a $500k personal fine from the Federal Reserve, plus a permanent ban from the finance industry for his part in J.P. Morgan’s program to hire Chinese princelings to help grow its Asian business. Fletcher ran the program and was in charge of the junior HR group in Asia.  

Meanwhile:

After cutting the performance component of 2016 to nothing for bankers above associate level, Deutsche has also cut the corporate portion of last year’s bonuses. – Employees only got 50% of the potential payout. (CityAm) 

Goldman banker banned from finance for 10 years by Singaporean authorities:“will not tolerate conduct by any finance professional that threatens to undermine trust and confidence in Singapore’s financial system.”(Wall Street Journal)

UK management consultants are having a great time thanks to Brexit: their industry grew 7.5% last year. (Financial Times) 

Industry lobby group, TheCityUK has created a steering committee led by managers at Barclays Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to explore potential trade and investment deals after Brexit. (Bloomberg) 

This isn’t a good time to move into private equity. (Alphaville) 

Citigroup hired Tom Regazzi from UBS as its new head of prime finance for North America. (Yahoo) 

Words analysts say during results calls: “great quarter,” “good,” “great,” “strong.” (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs is hosting a two-day technology conference in London where 76 people are scheduled to speak. Just five of them are women. (Buzzfeed) 

Reasons not to leave big banks for boutiques or hedge funds: maternity leave is less generous at smaller firms. (Financial News) 

Why do people leave banking after they hit 40? They don’t: it’s 30. (Quora) 

Eating ice cream first thing in the morning can actually be beneficial for the brain. (IBTimes)


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com


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