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Morning Coffee: Inexorable rise of the banking lifer. Job annihilation at top hedge fund

Half a lifetime at Credit Suisse

Half a lifetime at Credit Suisse

There was a time when bankers were known for skipping from job to job every few years in search of higher pay. You can still see this pattern in the CVs of many mid-ranking staff who rose quickly in the decade after 2000.

Increasingly, however, individuals with longevity at a single firm are getting the top jobs. Take Michael Corbat at Citigroup, or Brady Dougan at Credit Suisse. Dougan is on the way to spending half his life at the Swiss Bank – he joined aged 31 and is now 54, a tenure of 23 years.

With his long perspective, Dougan should be well placed to call an end to banks hunkering down and a return to growth. He does so this morning, sort of. Speaking to the Financial Times, Dougan said Credit Suisse is ready to focus on growth “once again.” Growth implies hiring. Where will it happen? Latin America and emerging markets, says Dougan. Also, maybe, in securitization.

Separately, it was reported over the weekend that hedge fund Comac Capital has taken an axe to jobs. The Wall Street Journal said Comac has cut a third of its staff (18 people) after two years of losses.

Comac’s problem appears to have been one of intemperate growth and hiring following a successful year in 2008. Since hiring in swathes of new staff, Comac’s performance has deteriorated substantially. The job cuts will reduce Comac’s investment team back down to the size it was when Comac was successful.

When we looked at Comac’s accounts in 2012, compensation at the fund was notably skewed towards one very highly paid individual who was earning 55% of the total compensation allocated to all the firm’s staff and 100 times the average across the fund. This seemed likely to have been Colm O’Shea, the Irish-born Oxford-raised ex-Citigroup prop trader and former senior macro trader at George Soros’ Quantum Fund, who founded Comac. O’Shea is not leaving the fund, needless to say.

Meanwhile:

Brady Dougan says Credit Suisse will not make a loss, even in bad times. (Financial Times)  

Credit Suisse needs to hire rates bankers, says banking analyst. (Financial Times)  

The Swiss want to split up UBS and Credit Suisse, again. (Reuters) 

Evercore has been hiring financial sponsor bankers from UBS. (Financial News) 

J.P. Morgan’s board has been strengthened against Jamie Dimon. Or has it? (Telegraph)

Deutsche Bank executives couldn’t decide whether to list innovation as a core value. (Bloomberg) 

How to get your first job in private banking. (Bankers Umbrella)

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