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Morning Coffee: The dangerous fantasies of 30-something investment bankers. Mind-reading at Credit Suisse

Banking mid-life crisis

Bankers are joining technology companies when their mid-life crises hit

30-somethings in investment banking are notoriously well paid. But they are also notoriously dogged by the sensation that they are wasting their lives and could be doing something much better, quite possibly in the tech sector, where it seems some people are making far more money and having so much more fun.

Like moths to a flame, therefore, thousands of people are leaving banking for the technology industry. Once there, instead of becoming rich and merry the ex-bankers are becoming poor and overworked and sustained only by the delusion that things will turn out for the best, soon. “What I’ve lost financially, I have absolutely gained in terms of wanting to be there,” Stu Taylor, the ex-London based ‘global head of principle matched trading’ at UBS who spent his savings setting up a bond sales management platform informed Bloomberg, before adding, “ – And hopefully, maybe, there is a payday someday in the future.”

The late 30s seems to be the time when the fatal urge to quit banking for the luminescence of a tech firm strikes – Stu left his seven figure job at UBS aged 39. Bloomberg also spoke to an ex-BofA director and an ex-Deutsche director aged aged 36 and 34 respectively. Plenty of other bankers out there seem ready to follow them – 70% of bankers want to be ‘kept in mind’ for tech jobs according to a headhunter at Egon Zehnder. But many of these tech fantasies look doomed to fail. – McKinsey calculates that 12,000 finance focused tech start-ups were born last year. Most ex-bankers may be happy in their trainers and beards, but they’re unlikely to become rich.

Separately, Credit Suisse has developed a telepathic relationship with its staff. Thanks to big data and a secret algorithm, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Swiss bank is able to predict who might quit. It has something to do with staying in the same job for a long time. To mitigate the quitting risk, Credit Suisse has therefore assembled a group of ‘headhunters’ who call people up and offer them new jobs internally. In this way, it has reportedly, ‘saved a number of them from taking jobs at other banks.’ It’s not clear whether this method also dissuades people from setting up bond trading platforms in their garage.

Meanwhile:

Disaster as ‘cement mega-merger’ promising $154m of investment banking fees flounders. (WSJ)

Royal Bank of Scotland is exploring options for the sale or wind-down of its corporate and institutional banking operations in central and eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), (Reuters) 

Liquidnet has hired Chris Jackson from Citi as its European head of Execution and Quantitative Services (EQS) Group, a new role. Jackson is charged with setting the strategic direction of the European Trading Desk and Algorithmic Services Group, as well as heading up the senior sales effort for Liquidnet’s global algorithmic offering with European clients. (Traders Magazine) 

In future, senior bankers bankers will be guilty of misconduct until they can prove they “took such steps as a person in their position could reasonably be expected to take” to prevent an offence from happening. If found guilty, they could spend up to seven years in prison. (CityAm) 

Here’s how the bank hiring scene is in France. (eFinancialCareer.Fr) 

Stifel, a $3.7 billion Missouri-based investment bank, wants to pay £4 million, all in, for Charles Stanley Securities. For that, it would buy a team of 35 corporate financiers, analysts, sales staff (and a trader), and about 50 corporate clients with an average market value just shy of £80 million. (The Times) 

Why you must not send late night emails to your team. (HBR) 

This is the new scientifically proven method of negotiating a pay rise. (QZ) 

 

 

 

 

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