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Morning Coffee: Bob Diamond’s empire building, when investment banks’ interns rebel

Bob Diamond

Bob Diamond has been keeping his head down since leaving his role as CEO of Barclays in2012 and watched as his investment banking legacy has been slowly torn apart by his successors.

Now, there’s reason to believe that former bond trader Diamond is quietly building in the very areas where large investment banks are pulling back from. Through his fund Atlas Merchant Capital, he’s just bought a stake in a New York repo trading firm called South Street Securities.

Not such a big deal, you might think, but the suggestion is that Diamond is eyeing up stakes in other trading businesses, some of which may even be sold by large investment banks. This is all part of Diamond’s plan to inch back into the banking business, suggests the Sunday Times.

“There’s a huge amount of businesses that are available, and yet the strategic investors of the last 20 and 30 years have been the big global banks and they are off the stage — in fact, they are the sellers,” Diamond said last year.

Separately, in a post on Pulse, a former investment banking intern has relayed a tale of how she rebelled against an instance of nepotism combined with bribery.

Admittedly, this was in South Korea, but Sophia Somyung Lee – who now runs her own firm – says that during a quiet period at the bank, her MD was offered some business from a client in return for getting his son an internship at the bank.

Unfortunately, not only was the son required by HR to actually apply for a role, but they also lacked the knowledge to get through an internal test all interns must pass. So, the MD asked Sophia to take it on the behalf of the client’s son.

After days of stress, angst and regurgitated dinners, she eventually said no, something the MD reluctantly accepted. While the MD didn’t go so far as to actually fire her, he made her life difficult for the remainder of the internship and, suffice to say, she doesn’t work in banking now.

Meanwhile: 

Daniel Pinto at J.P. Morgan received a zero bonus last year! Luckily, a huge pay rise and a ‘cash-based allowance’ pushed his salary up to $7.4m. (Bloomberg)

Traders were using WhatsApp to circumvent a ban on chatrooms (and emojis), but now mobile phones have been banned. (Daily Mail)

Credit Suisse has moved its head of U.S. research, Mark Flannery, into another role. A replacement has not yet been named. (Bloomberg)

Hedge fund manager who retired at 45 is now launching a lending business for SMEs. Would he ever go back? “I doubt it. That job takes years off your life. The intensity of the job is not consistent with having a solid personal life.” (Sunday Times)

Navinder Sarao, the trader accused of helping trigger the Wall Street flash crash, might live with his parents in a three-bedroom semi-detached house, but he has £25m stashed in a Swiss bank account. (Times)

Despite a tiny presence on the continent, Deutsche Bank is one of the go-to banks for debt issuance (Financial News)

Hedge fund Lansdowne Partners paid its 21 partners £9.05m ($14.1m) each. (Telegraph)

Hedge funds are not doing what they’re supposed to – most mirror passive strategies. (Chief Investment Officer)

Harvard MBAs are skipping Goldman Sachs and even Google to start out on their own (CNBC)

Eli Radke, a trader and sometime SoulCyclist in Chicago, described the experience as “strangely sexual.” (Dealbreaker)

Life Lessons from @GSElevator (Business Insider)

Beer jelly is now a thing, and it’s delicious…(Bloomberg)

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