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Morning Coffee: The most toxic boss in finance. 45-year-old French superstar at Morgan Stanley

Is your boss as poisonous as Bill Gross?

Is your boss as poisonous as Bill Gross?

However bad your boss is – however lazy, conniving and inept, it seems unlikely that he (or she) is anywhere near as bad as Bill Gross. A new Bloomberg exposé suggests previous reports of Gross’s noxious behaviour at Pimco were simply the crest of the pimple. Gross may not be lazy and inept, but he can certainly be paranoid, conniving, vindictive and lacking in empathy.

It seems that Gross spent his final months at Pimco conniving to remove the people he believed were plotting against him. – Bloomberg says he carried around a ‘three ring binder of printed out emails and hand written notes,’ and ‘hunted down’ colleagues responsible for leaking his misdemeanours to the press. In Gross’s eyes, those colleagues were the portfolio managers Andrew Balls and Joshua Thimons, whom he dubbed ‘Mr. X and Mr. Y.’ Gross repeatedly insisted they should be fired, even agreeing to ‘step back’ himself if they went first. But Balls and Thimons weren’t Gross’s only targets – he’s also said to have shouted at Pimco CEO Doug Hodge and Pimco president Jay Jacobs in full view of 60 traders with the express purpose of ‘intimidating others.’ He publicly criticized Wendy Cupps, the $50m a year head of product management for ‘stealing the firm’ and developing products without his consent. And he complained when colleagues with families objected to spending over a week at sea on a special bonding trip aboard a boat chartered with his own money. Gross’s behaviour was gross. Even when you’re being paid millions a year, you shouldn’t have to put up with that.

Separately,this is the year for TMT bankers. We’ve already highlighted Simon Holden, Goldman’s London-based global head of telecoms, but the man of the moment may instead be Jean Abergel, the 45-year-old global co-head of media and communications at Morgan Stanley. The Wall Street Journal reports that Abergel is behind Morgan Stanley’s dominance of the 2014 European M&A league table – only this week he landed the bank an advisory role on the €7.4 billion proposed purchase of PT Portugal by French telecoms group Altice. Who is Abergel? Institutional Investor reports that he’s a graduate of Ecole Centrale Paris and has an MBA from Wharton. He started his career at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he was a management consultant, before joining Morgan Stanley.

Meanwhile:

Maybe you should be working for a US law firm. (DealBook) 

VTB International is suing ex-CEO and ex-Goldman Sachs partner Atanas Bostandjiev for setting up a new fund and breaking his non-compete clause. He’s also accused of poaching from his former employer. (CityAm) 

Banks in the UK will no longer be able to use past losses to offset future taxes. (WSJ) 

Fortress is launching a long-short equity fund. (FinAlternatives) 

If you study international relations at the London School of Economics, you’ll earn £35k one year after graduating. (Twitter) 

Pay in the City of London is caught in the confusion between multiple regulators. (DealBook) 

15 things you should never say whilst negotiating your pay. (Aol)

It really helps if you know someone at the company you’re applying to. (Quartz)  


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