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Morning Coffee: Let this be a warning to all the precocious 35 year-old traders. Bank CEO living lavishly amidst cost cutting?

Going down again

Just imagine: aged 18, you move to the US and study at the University of Pennsylvania; aged 21 you start on your MBA at Wharton; aged 30, you get backing from one of the world’s biggest hedge fund managers. Five years later, aged 35 you’ve attracted $1bn in funds under management. And then….

…You lose $300m.

Call it schadenfreude, but it’s difficult to overlook the tarnishing of the trading talent that was Nehal Chopra. In the space of a few months, Chopra has gone from hedge fund darling to hedge fund desperado, and the cause is Valeant, who’s shares are down 43%. The Wall Street Journal reports that Valeant accounted for over 20% of the US stock portfolio held by Chopra’s fund, Tiger Ratan. It also lost money on Altice NV, the European cable conglomerate whose stock has fallen 44% in three months.

Chopra’s mistakes could be attributed to bad luck. Except $300m is a lot of unfortunate coincidences and Bloomberg suggests that Chopra isn’t entirely irreproachable: she reportedly tended to ‘maintain outsize positions without commensurate offsetting bets to protect against declines,’ has a high turnover of staff, doesn’t employ many people with opposing views, and doesn’t employ many people full stop. – Tiger only has three investment employees, Chopra included, Hubris, maybe?

Separately, you will know that Tidjane Thiam at Credit Suisse is cutting thousands of investment banking staff and giving precedence to ex-management consultants like himself as he attempts to cut costs, but you may not know that, allegedly, Thiam is not applying that cost cutting zeal to his executive office.  Swiss newspaper Blick claims that there are rumours that Thiam likes to fly himself and his retinue around first class, that he has a chauffeur, thinks nothing of commissioning a helicopter, and stays in the presidential suite of hotels.  The allegations may not be true, but Thiam will need to live super-austerely to refute them.

Meanwhile:

Bonuses shall fall 5%-10% this year. (NY Times) 

The high yield market is hot no more. Canaccord Genuity Group, the Toronto-based brokerage that significantly expanded its corporate-credit bond team just two years ago, eliminated most of its high-yield sales and trading positions Thursday. (BloombergView) 

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is closing its London office. 20 jobs could be lost. (Sky)

Meet the new man in charge of Deutsche Bank in EMEA. (Bloomberg) 

This can only be bad for interdealer broking jobs. (Wealth and Capital Markets)

Goldman’s IPOs aren’t going so well. (Guardian) 

Citi’s got a new cross-European debt team. (Financial News) 

Jenus Fiouzi, a senior currency hedge fund saleswoman in London, claimed she was given unfair bonus payments and eventually fired after about a year at the bank because because she was a woman and not German. She lost her court case. (Jenus)

“The Bundesbank building gives an impression of pragmatic resilience.” (Bloomberg) 

Ever UK financial services worker contributes about £27k in employment taxes and employer contributions to the exchequer. (The Times) 

“If you do really well at school and university you’ll be saddled with thousands of pounds of debt but you’ll get a chance of working deadly long hours in a job that might eventually pay you well enough to afford a small flat in London.” (Stumbling and Mumbling) 

Don’t give stock tips to your jogging buddy. (SMH) 

Hedge it with bitcoin baby. (Science Direct)

How to handle being married to a road warrior. (Inc)

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