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Morning Coffee: £8m trader had job cleaning deep fat fryer. Why pay the annual CFA fee?

Tom Hayes

Everyone has to start somewhere

Everyone has to start somewhere. Even traders who go on to make millions of dollars before spectacularly falling from grace.

Take Tom Hayes, the ex-UBS and Citi Libor trader currently fighting criminal charges for manipulating LIBOR. During three years working for UBS and nine months working for Citi (during which he was also pursued by Deutsche and Goldman Sachs), Hayes earned a total of nearly £8m ($12m). He wasn’t always so financially fortunate – at some point in his past Hayes has also done some fairly scuzzy kitchen work.

We know this because in court yesterday, Hayes said that having mild Asperger’s Syndrome made him a perfectionist. “I wanted to do my job as perfectly as I could,” he testified. “It doesn’t matter if I was cleaning a deep fat fryer or picking chicken off the bone, those jobs were left to me because I’d do them the best possible.”

Hayes, who is now 35 and graduated in maths from Nottingham University, also said that aged 24 he had the same superhero duvet that he’d acquired when he was eight. In this sense, he sounds similar to Navinder Singh Sarao, the famously frugal trader accused of causing the flash crash. The judge in Hayes’ case reportedly said Hayes’ condition meant he prioritised tasks over people. This could be a benefit on a trading floor.

Separately, complaints have been raised about the CFA’s annual stipend. Writing in the Financial Times,  Lisa Pollack (CFA) complains about the CFA Institute’s demand of $275 annually from any CFA charterholders who dare to put the letters after their names. Pollack complains that the charge seems unreasonable – imagine if universities did the same. She also surmises that the acronym helps professionals identify each other and is a signal that you’re willing to give up your entire social life to pass an exam. Ultimately, she pays. Readers suggest this was a mistake and she could have simply written. “”Passed CFA exam” and kept her money.

Meanwhile:

Goldman just named 61 year-old Karen Cook chairman of its investment banking division.The daughter of a car mechanic, she went into banking after taking an MBA at Manchester Business School. (Financial Times)

SocGen chief executive Frederic Oudea says banks will keep pulling back from market making and that central banks will need to be market makers even in normal times. (FinAlternatives)

RBS has planned £3.5bn in restructuring costs as it winds down its investment bank operations and cuts back its global presence, but total costs this year might hit £8bn. (Telegraph)

UBS has got a new head of global equity syndicate from Deutsche Bank. (WSJ)

Robert Walters says City banking jobs are back and pay is increasing. (Evening Standard) 

Banking intern worked until 2.30am on his first night. Says work is not that exciting. (Business Insider)  

Here’s how the finance chief of Fortelus Capital Management was scammed out of £743k. (Bloomberg) 

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is looking to move 2,150 jobs from New York City to Jersey City. (Nasdaq)

J.P. Morgan will let its US bankers expense Uber rides. (American Banker)

I used to work at Goldman. I never heard anything like this in the elevators. My colleagues were nice people. (Bloomberg)

The richer your family, the more likely you are to study English. (Atlantic)

Negotiations work better early in the morning. (Inc)


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