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Morning Coffee: What 50-something bankers actually do all day. How to dress to avoid the chop at Deutsche Bank

Senior banker's days

How to hang like a senior banker. Or not.

You’re a 55 year-old M&A banker with a phone full of CEOs and an impressively low golf handicap. You’ve orchestrated some transformative M&A deals and once received a $15m bonus.You are a legend in your universe. So, what do you do all day?

The answer, is that you do not have fun. And, mostly, do you not cruise around schmoozing clients. In an interview with the Financial Times, Hugh (Skip) McGee, the ex-head of Barclays Investment Bank in the US and M&A supremo bemoans his life at the British behemoth. “Between regulatory compliance and internal bureaucracy I found myself spending 80% of my time on non-client activities, which is really not fun,” complains McGee.

What with all that boring box-ticking and managerialism, McGee – who quit Barclays last year and now runs a boutique, says there’s only one thing he misses about working for a big bank and that’s hanging out with celebrity sportsmen. At Barclays, he seemingly got to fraternize with Phil Mickelson, a superstar golfer whom the bank sponsors. At least there were some perks.

Separately, if you want to get ahead at Deutsche Bank, you need to get in with John Cryan. The new CEO is reportedly preparing to front-load cost cuts when he announces Deutsche’s new strategy in late October. In the circumstances, it may be unwise to appear allied to former CEO Anshu Jain who is said to have stalked the corridors of Deutsche dressed in Hugo Boss suits and Prada Shoes. Cryan, by comparison, wears suits made by a London tailor and carries an old black leather satchel according to the  Financial Times. 

Meanwhile:

“I’m not here to mudsling, I’m here so the truth about foreign exchange at Citi is heard once and for all. Senior management responsible for a lack of control were afforded anonymity. I see that as being unfair.” (Bloomberg) 

Citi’s head of EMEA ECM: “Levels of ECM activity are picking up significantly in this cycle and there is a lack of talent at the VP/ associate level due to the hiring slowdown post crisis. At the MD level, it’s much more specific to particular needs rather than expansion across the board.” (Financial News) 

Only JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley can properly call themselves top-tier banks in every region. (Financial News) 

Suddenly, the European IPO industry is springing back to life. (Financial Times) 

J.P. Morgan just hired a big US tech banker from BofA. (New York Times)

M&A bankers have nothing to fear from a turning cycle. (Business Insider) 

Mid-career bankers earn two to three times more than mid-career consultants. (The Tally) 

Hedge fund manager Chris Hohn just earned £57m. (Telegraph) 

Neurosis at Blackstone: “Blackstone is not really a business per se,” Mr. Schwarzman said. “It’s a mission to be the best.” (NY Times) 

EU migrants are trying to get British passports ahead of a potential Brexit. (Guardian) 

I would do anything to escape the middle office. (Wall Street Oasis) 


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