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Morning Coffee: Top Goldman banker in London was an accountant. BAML accused of simplistic risk management

Bean counters can become bankers

Bean counters can become bankers

If you want to work in M&A and don’t have an MBA but do have an accounting qualification, then Simon Holden should be your role model.

The global head of telecoms M&A at Goldman Sachs, Holden is thought to be at the centre of this week’s preliminary discussions between BT Group and Telefónica SA over the purchase of O2. O2 is worth  $14bn, which suggests Goldman could be in line for fees worth over $500m. Before he joined Goldman in 2000, Holden reportedly spent eight years as an accountant at the firm then known as Coopers & Lybrand. He became an MD at Goldman in 2000 and a partner in 2006. So, don’t let anyone tell you that accounting can’t be a route into banking.

Separately, someone will have been reprimanded at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) in London. That person is likely to be the bank’s head of counterparty risk at King Edward Street. The Wall Street Journal reports that the London office of the U.S. bank stands accused of over-simplifying the way it measures potential risks from exposure to its top five counterparties. The Prudential Regulation Authority has reportedly BAML a letter (in April) demanding that it up its game. If you’re a counterparty risk professional, now may still be a good time to tender your services.

Meanwhile:

Tim Geithner knew there was something wrong with Merrill Lynch’s approach to risk when it became apparent that John Thain didn’t know the name of the chief risk officer sitting to his right. (Financial Times)

George Osborne supports performance bonds as an alternative to higher banking salaries. (George’slettertotheTreasury) 

Meet the ‘Funded Unapproved Retirement Benefit Scheme,’ which looks like a great solution to the EU bonus cap. (The Tally) 

Feel the pain of the Citi analysts who were seemingly compensated for sharing privileged information with clients and then penalized for it. (Bloomberg View) 

BlueBay just ‘snatched’ the head of technology from Man Group. (FinAlternatives) 

Phil Falcone is stepping down from Harbinger Group. He will receive a pro-rated bonus for 2015. (Bloomberg) 

Not everyone in finance has a degree in economics or maths. Iain Stewart, head of Newton (the investment arm of Bank of New York Mellon), has a PhD in fisheries science. (Financial Times) 

JPMorgan is contemplating opening an office in Kenya. (Bloomberg) 

Macquarie is hiring commodities traders. (Bloomberg) 

Men with half-grown beards can be mistaken for procrastinators. (New York Times) 

How to ensure your final round interview lands you the job. (The Muse) 

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