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Morning Coffee: Behavioural differences between Google and Goldman employees. Deutsche’s day of reckoning approaches

Goldman Sachs or Google

There's none of this at Goldman

Are you best suited to working for a Google, or are you best suited to working for a Goldman Sachs? Are you an off-beat eschatologist who wants to earn money in preparation for an environmental meltdown? Or are you a top student who’s been on track for an elite career since puberty?

If you fit the first description, go to Google. If you fit the second, go into banking.

A new set of profiles of Google employees, published by Bloomberg, suggests them to be far more eccentric than the sort of privately educated high achiever who gets recruited by an investment bank. For example, there have been several Google employees who have slept in nearby vans. There was a pony-tailed 44 year-old ex-Google employee who lived in a van for a year whilst working to save money and retire aged 45 to a farm in Hawaii where he could survive an climactic apocalypse. There was another 27 year-old who lived in Google’s parking lot. There’s a whole Quora page devoted to sleeping at the Googleplex.

The distinctions aren’t just down to sleeping arrangements. The 44 year-old van-sleeping ex-Google employees in Bloomberg’s profile eschews shoes, let alone Ferragamo loafers. He’s not interested in physical possessions. At Google, he ate for free at the company canteen, which served up organic ingredients sourced within a 150 mile radius. It’s a far cry from the Seamless orders and ready-meals of junior bankers. Silicon valley staff are overwhelmingly interested in the quality of their code, suggests Bloomberg. In banking, exemplary work is also important, but so too is grooming and conformity to social norms. If you’re normative, banking is for you. If you’re ‘different’, you could always try a large tech firm instead.

Separately, Reuters reports that John Cryan, the new CEO at Deutsche Bank, is planning to submit his ideas for a strategic overhaul to Deutsche’s board at the end of this month. Deutsche’s investment bankers are no strangers to strategic overhauls – departing CEO Anshu Jain presented his own in early June. Cryan’s may be a bit less easy on Deutsche’s fixed income staff, however. He’s already warned the bank not to expect only “sweetness and light in the coming months” and said he’ll close down unpromising business lines.

Meanwhile:

In recent weeks parts of Credit Suisse’s investment bank’s fixed income operations have been forced to stop trading after hitting capital limits. (Financial Times) 

Citi is predicting that Barclays will make big cuts to the investment bank. (Bloomberg)  

Bank of America is swapping out its CFO. (WSJ)

Goldman Sachs hired Ben Coward-Talbott, most recently head of electronic trading product for European equities and global listed derivatives at Morgan Stanley for its European electronic trading division. (Financial News) 

Chris Rokos has hired Silvio Peruzzo, an Italian who was senior European economist within Nomura International PLC’s fixed income team. (WSJ) 

Expenses accounted for 85% of revenue at Deutsche Bank’s investment bank in the first quarter, compared with 69% at Barclays and 74% at Credit Suisse. (Bloomberg)

Investment banks are hiring again in the Middle East. (Bloomberg) 

Evercore CEO says hiring bankers is like wildcatting in Texas: “You drill a bunch of holes and you can have a bunch of dry holes or you can hit a couple of active wells.” (Bloomberg)

Hilary Clinton says banks that have been fined for wrongdoing will have to curb their bonuses. (WSJ) 

How Lloyd Blankfein lives. (Business Insider) 

How to work 40 hour weeks and get away with it. (Financial Times) 

JPMorgan banker’s advice on dealing with competitive colleagues. (Fortune)  

What to do if you feel stuck in the wrong career. (HBR) 

(Photo credit: Travis Wise)


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