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Morning Coffee: Ex-product controller becomes VTB CEO. Why not to work in equity research

Product controller becomes beautiful butterfly

Product controller becomes beautiful butterfly

Product controllers everywhere now have someone to look up to. Nick Hutt, a former product controller at Deutsche Bank, has just metamorphosed into the CEO of Russian Bank VTB Capital in the UK. Traders everywhere can eat their hearts out.

Hutt, who has a degree in physics from Loughborough University, began his finance career in 1997 as a product controller at Rabobank. Thereafter, he moved to Deutsche, where he ascended to the position of ‘global head of emerging markets product control.’ Then he moved to VTB as CFO and as of today he’s been appointed CEO. Let this be a lesson to all frustrated accountants in investment banks Share on twitter who might be wondering what product controllers can do next.

Separately, you probably don’t want to work in equity research. It’s a competitive place to be. The inappropriate and retracted headline on Investec’s research note this week illustrated the lengths analysts will go to just to get their work seen. At the same time, clients are putting researchers in an impossible situation – they won’t give their business to banks unless researchers write favourable things about their equity offerings. But such skewed verdicts are banned by regulators and can get researchers into trouble and even have them banned from the industry.

A new case involving the Financial Industry Regulatory and 10 banks (including Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank), illustrates the pressure researchers are under. The banks concerned were bidding for a role on the IPO of Toys R’ Us,and favourable research reports were an important part of their armoury.Deutsche’s investment bankers, for example, blamed their analyst for ‘totally screwing up’ the bid after his presentation on the stock wasn’t up to scratch. A Goldman banker insisted that the research and the bank’s big for the business should be, “tightly coordinated” (as opposed to behind Chinese walls) and an analyst from US-based investment bank Needham & Company said. ““I would crawl on broken glass dragging my exposed junk to get this deal Share on twitter.”  Let this be a warning for anyone who thinks equity research is a good career for cerebral types who like expressing impartial opinions.

Meanwhile:

Equity bankers in the City are bracing themselves for as much as $100 billion in European initial public offerings next year, suggesting little sign of a slowdown in a market already running at a post-crisis high Europe. (Financial News) 

Electronic trading can be fixed too. Barclays and Deutsche may have used algorithms on their trading platforms to manipulate foreign-exchange rates. (Bloomberg) 

“There’s a huge oversupply of quality traders and not very much demand.” (DealBook) 

UBS is moving Alison Harding-Jones, a senior European investment banker, over to Hong Kong to head its APAC business. (Bloomberg) 

‘Retired’ ex-JPMorgan banker scores large book deal. (DailyMail) 

Banks are not the best places to work. (Forbes) 

Goldman Sachs stock is at a six year high. (IG) 

Nouriel Roubini’s terrible Twitter error. (Twitter)

BNP Paribas has taken to growing its own fruit and vegetables on the company roof.(The Tally)

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