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Morning Coffee: The strange personalities of top M&A bankers and traders. Why young bankers are so boring

M&A vs trading

Spot the difference

What differentiates a top M&A banker and a top trader? If this question has been troubling you, we suggest you take a look at phraseology surrounding Skip McGee and Jonathan Hoffman.

Both men formerly worked for Lehman Brothers, where McGee was global head of the investment banking division and Hoffman was a top bond trader. Both men went on to work for Barclays. There the similarities end.

If McGee is an effervescent extrovert, Hoffman is a reclusive loner. McGee, who is now setting up his own M&A boutique is. “creative,” “highly-intelligent,” “driven,” “client first,” according to a friend and CEO. He is also, “a winner” who is “going to succeed.”

Hoffman, by comparison, seems oblivious to the opinions of others. Currently chasing Lehman’s carcass through the courts for $83m (yes) in unpaid bonuses despite having been paid a similar amount by Barclays, he appears impervious to the impression that this might convey to the world at large. He, ‘likes to sit behind banks of computer screens’ and ‘doesn’t communicate regularly’ with other traders or salespeople. “I guess I am a lone wolf,” Hoffman tells the Wall Street Journal.  Renowned as one of the world’s best proprietary traders, he’s in no rush to find a new job (and clearly has no need for one). “When the phone rings you don’t have to pick it up,” he concludes. – Thereby sounding the diametrical opposite to the go-getting, sometimes obnoxious, McGee.

Separately, next time you interview a 20 year-old who wants to be a banker who is identical to the last 20 year-old who wants to be a banker, try giving them some advice on becoming more interesting. Michael Novogratz, the president of Fortress Investment Group, has reportedly been telling ‘kids’ to do something other than an internship at Goldman Sachs or McKinsey & Co. “‘Go do something different. Get on a motorcycle, travel through India, and take photographs,” Novogratz said, “Create a story where you learn something.”

Meanwhile:

Which Myers Briggs personality types earn the most money. (City Am) 

Advice for young finance professionals from the CEO of Vanguard: Live below your means, save early, and get exposure to diversified global portfolio. (Ritholtz) 

Deutsche Bank is reviewing whether to move some of its 9,000 London staff to Germany if the UK exits the EU. (Financial Times) 

Mizuho is hiring for its US equities business. (Swissinfo) 

Charles Tessier, a director in Barclays’ FIG DCM team has quit after 10 years. (Global Capital) 

Credit Suisse has hired Sean Richards, an investment grade credit trader from BNP Paribas. (Global Capital) 

These two senior salespeople are leaving SocGen. (GlobalCapital) 

Swiss brokerage firm Tradition is setting up a new electronic repo trading venue in London. (Financial Times)  

Why Basle’s latest trading book review is a nightmare: ‘Under the consultation, investment banks would be required to reapply to regulators for approval of the models they use to value their positions on a desk-by-desk basis, which could present some companies with problems if they were unable to convince supervisors to sign off again on their activities.‘ (The Times) 

People who stick with the same jobs are now receiving bigger pay rises than switchers. (Telegraph) 

 

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