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Morning Coffee: World’s top M&A banker relies upon ‘intimate’ phone. From toilet cleaning to the Goldman Sachs partnership

Paul Taubman phone

It's all about sound quality

Now that Blackberries are passé and Jamie Dimon says iPhones are no more than a panacea for income inequality,  what kind of portable device must you go for if you work in an investment bank today? – How about the sort of phone that was last used a symbol of technological supremacy 15 years ago? This is what Paul J. Taubman is packing in the pocket of his $10k suits.

Bloomberg reports that Taubman, who spent three decades at Morgan Stanley and is in the process of combining his boutique with the M&A business of Blackstone Group, uses a black Samsung phone that was popular around 2000. He’s not going out of his way to be a Luddite, but genuinely likes the model according to Bloomberg. – It has longer battery life and superior sound quality.

Tim Coleman, who runs the restructuring business for Taubman uses the same device: ““It’s an intimate thing,” Coleman, told Bloomberg. “If you’re calling somebody about the biggest transaction or bankruptcy of their life,” he said, “you want to sound like you’re sitting next to them.”

Now is clearly the time to list your old Samsung phone on eBay in the hope of selling it to Taubman and colleagues for a small fortune.

Separately, Marty Chavez, the nice guy who is the chief information officer at Goldman Sachs, has been discussing why it was that he returned to Goldman after selling his dotcom business around the time that Taubman’s Samsung made its debut. “God told me to go to Goldman Sachs,” Chavez said during an event in New York on Tuesday night. The celestial message was reportedly imparted while Chavez was cleaning the toilets at a monastery in Northern Mexico. Chavez went on to say that the IPO process is “ripe for automation,” a verdict that might sound ominous for equity capital markets bankers dealing with a difficult end to the year.

Meanwhile:

Now that leverage has gone, automation and efficiency are the new competitive battleground, says Chavez. – But there will always be demand for good relationship managers. (WSJ) 

Paul Huchro, who is head of U.S. flow credit and municipals trading at Goldman Sachs and has worked at the bank for 30 years, is leaving. (WSJ)  

The existing heads of Goldman’s Russian business are stepping down. These new ones are taking their place. (Reuters) 

Barclays traders accused of manipulating LIBOR want the bank to keep on paying their legal fees. (Reuters) 

Trader says FCA misinterpreted cockney rhyming slang as collusive code. (Financial Times) 

RBS trader sacked for FX rigging says the bank has made him a scapegoat for its own failings.(Telegraph) 

Ross McEwan makes otiose statement on developments at RBS:”As well as re-shaping the business in line with our go-forward proposition we will need to re-platform many parts of this business, particularly its back office processes, to materially lower its cost base.” (Herald) 

Contractors at BAML in London are being commanded to accept a 10% pay cut and take two weeks off (unpaid). (ContractorUK) 

This is the average rent at each London tube stop. (Assets3) 

The “hedge fund” branding has really backfired. If I ran a hedge fund I’d tell people I was an alternative asset manager. (Bloomberg) 

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