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Morning Coffee: Perfect student finds top team in top bank unbearable. Why Goldman Sachs loves Europe

Goldman Sachs

Gary Cohn Goldman Sachs

If academic pedigree and work experience are predictors of investment banking success, Sarvshreshth Gupta should have thrived as a member of Goldman Sachs’ TMT team. A graduate of Wharton Business School and Pennsylvania University. Gupta had degrees in computer science and finance. Before joining Goldman, he interned at UBS and Deutsche Bank. He knew what he was letting himself into – or thought he did.

Tragically, however, Gupta took his own life in April. In an essay posted to the blog website Medium (since removed), Gupta’s father said his son complained that life in the San Francisco-based TMT team was “too much.” He faced, “hard, continuous work, no breaks, no sleep and no respite.” Working until 5am had reportedly become the norm as tech deals poured in and Goldman juniors struggled to keep up. Gupta’s death raises serious questions about working practices in investment banks in general and in Goldman Sachs in particular. – Not least because the firm knew Gupta was vulnerable after offering him counselling to help deal with stress earlier in the year. And yet, at 2.40am on the night before he died, Gupta was working alone in an office preparing a presentation for the following morning having had no sleep for more than 48 hours.

Separately, Goldman COO Gary Cohn made a presentation yesterday in which he explained why Goldman Sachs sees growth potential in Europe. If Cohn is right, European debt capital markets revenues will increase exponentially as European corporates issue bonds instead of borrowing from banks directly. Cohn has made similar presentations in the past, however, and this so-called ‘disintermediation’ hasn’t happened yet.

Meanwhile:

Goldman Sachs is outperforming peers, is happy with its business mix, and has introduced software to to optimize capital allocation before the rest. (Reuters) 

Jeff Egee, who until recently was responsible for high yield trading at Goldman Sachs in London, has changed remit to focus on distressed opportunities. (Global Capital)

What Greg Smith did next. (Time)

Tom Hayes was allowed to keep a £2.2m bonus from Citigroup despite being sacked by his bank for “attempting to manipulate” financial markets. “How much are you going to pay me to go quietly?”, he asked the bank. (Guardian) 

Deutsche Bank made inquiries about hiring Tom Hayes after Citi sacked him. (Reuters)

Deutsche Bank aims to launch three technology innovation labs in Berlin, London and Silicon Valley this year. (Reuters) 

If you include these words in a job advert, women will not apply. (Huffington Post)  

Persistence, planning and self-control are more important than IQ as predictors of success. (Time)  

People are more likely to cheat when a game is drawing to an end. (NCBI) 


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