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Morning Coffee: Investment bankers not welcome at Jackson Hole, JPMorgan’s equities hiring spree

Jackson Hole, away from the action.

Jackson Hole, away from the action.

The Fed’s annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is an opportunity for the best academics, economists, central bankers and financiers to gather to discuss the big issues affecting the world’s economy. Despite the informal setting, it’s generally acknowledged as the place to rub shoulders with the key decision-makers and get a picture of the outlook for the year ahead.

Investment banks’ FICC divisions will be anxiously watching the discussions for clues on whether central banks change tack, spur lifeless markets into action and create the sort of trading volatility that could see their profit engine room start pumping again. Except that they’ll be watching from the sidelines.

The likes of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, along with top hedge fund managers and private bankers, have had the opportunity to hobnob with key decision-makers in years gone by, but the Fed has grown uncomfortable with private sector influence, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Central bankers, politicians and academics are invited. If investment bankers want to enjoy the mountain range views, they’d better book a long weekend in Jackson Hole another time.

Separately, JPMorgan has been doing some front office hiring for its equities business. A ten-strong sales team targeting hedge fund and sovereign wealth fund clients, led by former RBS equities sales trading head Simon Taylor, has just been recruited.

JPMorgan ranks in the top three of just about every investment banking league table, with the exception of cash equities. Daniel Pinto, its head of corporate and investment banking, said earlier this year that it would make some moves to change that and the latest recruits are a statement of intent.

Meanwhile:

Investment banks are paranoid that millennials will head to Silicon Valley or the buy-side and more firms are following Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs’ lead by hiking up salaries by 20-25%. JPMorgan, Citi and Bank of America are all raising base pay. (Bloomberg)

CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, is recruiting for its investment team (CIO Magazine)

European investment banking fees are outstripping the rest of the world, but it’s largely down to huge increase in equity capital markets activity. (Bloomberg)

Bank of America has settled allegations that it misled investors into buying toxic mortgage assets has paid a massive $17bn fine. This ends civil action, but it could still be subject to criminal charges (Telegraph)

Hermes Fund Management has just named a new head of fixed income, a division it is building out (Financial News)

Steve Cohen is banking on a return to the hedge fund sector (Fox News)

In a Silicon Valley devoted to transforming the way we live, bankers have been disrupted: they have gone from being a necessary evil to an unnecessary one. And no one is shedding any tears. (Financial Times)

Related articles: 

2014 analyst bonuses fall to a mere $55k, UK hedge fund bonuses slip by £127k in two years

Junior bankers thrilled with time off, the $200k job that offers no work-life balance

Banks demand Blackberry cold turkey, Google’s ‘toothbrush test’ excludes expensive investment bankers

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