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Morning Coffee: 52 year-old banker’s message to analysts and associates. Confluence of hotness in banking jobs

analyst and associate

"I respect your decision to work all weekend"

You’re either a 22 year-old university graduate starting out as an analyst, or you’re a 28 year-old MBA graduate returning as an associate. What do you need to know about getting on in an investment banking division (IBD)? Andrea Orcel, chief executive of UBS’s investment bank, would like to offer you some suggestions.

Firstly, don’t be mediocre. Orcel doesn’t say this himself, but Matthew Greenham. a former colleague of Orcel’s at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, tells the Financial Times that Orcel is not very good at, “motivating mediocre people and making them good.” Why not? “He can shout and scream at people sometimes,” says Greenburgh.

Secondly, don’t expect any special dispensations just because you’re young and eminently employable.  Orcel’s UBS doesn’t operate any of the working hour restrictions adopted by rivals. You might therefore feel a need to work weekends and you might feel a need to cancel your holiday. When young bankers ask for assurances that his won’t happen, Orcel says he tells them, “no.” This kind of thing isn’t mandatory though: Orcel says he has never actually called anyone on holiday or asked anyone to cancel their leave. And yet, he tells the Financial Times that if bankers want to cancel time off to work on a deal,  “I respect that choice.” Whether he also respects the choice not to cancel time off is less clear.

Separately, an area of extravagantly high demand may be opening up in the banking recruitment market.  What with banks’ equity trading aspirations and their demand for technologists, technology professionals working on equity trading systems appear to be at a popularity nexus. Citi and J.P. Morgan are both trying to increase their equities trading market share with technology investments, for example. And Orcel tells the FT that if he could have more money for any one area of the bank, technology would be it: “I would ask for more IT spend,” he says decisively. “The whole division would take IT…”

Meanwhile:  

Orcel says UBS’s Asian operations have been driving the investment bank. “If we take our model, relative to the competition, we are underweight the US and overweight Asia. Usually we suffer for that, given the strength of the US economy and the fees in the US economy. This quarter showed a high level of dynamism in Asia and China and that has been captured in our numbers.” (South China Morning Post) 

UBS has increased its senior US investment banking headcount by 20-25% this year. (Wall Street Journal) 

Chris White, creator of GSessions, Goldman Sachs’ not entirely successful electronic bond trading platform, is quietly leaving the firm. (Wall Street Journal) 

Elad Shraga, Deutsche Bank’s 45 year-old head of structured finance, is leaving after 15 years at the company to start his own special-situations fund focused on credit and real estate in Europe. (Bloomberg) 

Citigroup, JPMorgan and UBS are looking at moving repo traders out of London to avoid the banking levy. (Financial Times)  

Ex-Deutsche Banker Sajit Javid is likely to become the next head of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS). (Sunday Times) 

It is insufficient to have a degree from a top university. You must also attend a course that will teach you how to code. (Bloomberg)

Liam Frawley (a recruiter at Hays) is happy about the election outcome: “The Conservatives support business, so there’ll be more jobs for me to fill and I can go on holiday to the Bahamas.”  (Financial Times)

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