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Morning Coffee: 46 year-old ex-Credit Suisse MD struggling despite earning $1m. JPM’s 125k Brexit man hours

Poor rich man

The thought that there might be people ‘struggling by’ on $1m a year isn’t unfamiliar on these pages. Bankers on low seven figure “packages” have been bemoaning their liquidity problems for the best part of a decade. However, it’s not often that someone voluntarily associates themselves with the condition.

Yan Assoun, Credit Suisse’s former head of European equity derivatives has done just that. Assoun divorced his wife several years ago and has been attempting to massage his alimony payments down ever since. In a well-publicized court case that has been dragging on for at least three years, Assoun argued that his $3.3m Manhattan apartment didn’t make him rich and that due to the huge debts he’s incurred his income is very low indeed.  Assoun spent two years at Credit Suisse, five years at Deutsche Bank and six years at BNP Paribas, In 2013, a judge estimated that his annual income was at least $1m.

Unfortunately for Assoun his protestations have gone unheeded. The Financial Times reports that he’s being compelled to increase payments to his ex-wife (a fashion journalist who lives on a Texas ranch and earns $47k a year) to $380k annually, up from the $132k he felt financially comfortable with. Don’t expect sympathy from British divorce courts.

Separately, J.P. Morgan’s labour intensive approach to Brexit illuminates how complex the European question has become for U.S. banks. The Wall Street Journal reports that JPM alone applied a team of 75 people over nine months to ponder the best location for the bank in Europe after 2020. Assuming they each worked nine hour days, that’s around 125,000 man hours dedicated to the Brexit issue. Citi appears to have been engaged in something similar: it’s reportedly assembled a spreadsheet with 26 different variables ranking each city in Europe for desirability. London needs to hope the calculations come to nothing. Fortunately, the WSJ says most banks have a similar approach: ‘To build on infrastructure in existing offices across Europe, keep as much as possible in London and see what happens.’

Meanwhile:

Theresa May made a speech suggesting everything will be fine for banks after Brexit. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman then informed her on stage that other European cities had made compelling pitches for Morgan Stanley’s presence. (Sky) 

EU Parliament says any post-Brext transitional deal can only last three years. (Guardian) 

Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, said he would not be opposed to plans mooted by MEPs for offering UK nationals a form of “associated citizenship.” (Financial Times) 

UBS wants to hire seven M&A bankers in Asia, won’t be wholly focusing on China any more. That was actually a mistake. (Bloomberg)

Blackrock’s making a few changes. San Francisco will become the firm’s hub for quantitative investing, and some emerging-markets staff will move to Asia from London. (WSJ) 

Senior Goldman Sachs M&A banker advocates fully embracing criticism. “When you get constructive feedback, you shouldn’t let that get you down — you should actually celebrate that someone cared enough about you to give you some things that you could work.” (Business Insider)

Weary of business travel? Think yourself lucky. In 200AD a London-based merchant heading bravely to Rome on horseback in April would have spent almost 22 days travelling. (Economist) 


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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