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Morning Coffee: The most intimidating interview in finance. 22 year-old bankers found to be horribly naive

Jes Staley FCA Interview

Ready to meet the panthers?

If you’re trying to get a job in banking, you might think J.P. Morgan’s brain teaser interview questions are as hard as it gets. You’d be wrong. Somewhere, several above higher in terms of difficulty, are the interviews with the so-called ‘grey panthers’ of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The grey panthers are ex-senior bankers who are employed by the regulator to pose challenging questions to any current pretenders to the top jobs in the UK’s financial services industry. The panther interviews are deliberately intimidating according to one regulatory lawyer who’s coached people through them. Candidates are grilled on everything from their understanding of the firm they aspire to work for, to the FCA’s concerns about the sector and their plans for the future development of the business.  The panthers don’t always let their prey escape. – Michele Foresti tried to join Bank of America from Deutsche Bank last year, but quit for Brevan Howard after the FCA declined to give him the regulatory go-ahead to become BofA’s head of FICC trading for EMEA.

In the circumstances, Jes Staley may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Bloomberg reports that Staley is due to have an interview with the Panthers next Tuesday. Only if he bears up under their scrutiny will Staley be free to become CEO of Barclays. – There may be hope for Tushar Morzaria yet.

Separately, Business Insider has discovered what it was that Goldman Sachs’ analysts were doing when they were fired for cheating.  They were reportedly Googling the terms from exam questions using the very same computers that Goldman Sachs gave them to take the exams. This was despite being warned that cheating on the tests would not be tolerated…

Meanwhile:

Don’t expect any big strategy announcements from Barclays on October 29th. It still won’t have a CEO. (HargreavesLansdown)  

Barclays is preparing to warn regulators that the credit rating of its investment bank could be slashed unless it’s allowed to place the retail bank under the temporary ownership of its investment banking arm.  (Sky)

Mizuho just hired a new head of FIG DCM from RBS. (Global Capital)  

Frédéric Janbon, the former head of fixed income at BNP Paribas, has taken over as head of BNP Paribas Investment Partners, the group’s asset management arm. (Global Capital)

A hedge fund is resuscitating the CDO market. (Bloomberg)

Hedge fund managers have run their own Rocktoberfest for charity. “People are surprised that there are so many musicians in the industry. But there are lots of people with Type A personalities who like to excel at whatever they do.” (Observer) 

14 female MBAs at Bank of America make a median of $61,000 less than the 81 male MBAs at the company. (Bloomberg) 

Gay men earn less than other men but gay women earn more than other women. Why? (SSRN) 

Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are taking ‘sub-perceptual hallucinogens’ for performance enhancement. (Inc)

Help! I am stuck in engineering and wish to move into finance. (Reddit) 

If you want to earn lots of money, but don’t want to sit at a desk, you need to become surgeon. (Business Insider) 

Photo credit: Patrick Bouquet

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