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Morning Coffee: UBS MD destroys own life, that of recruiter friends. Hot US boutique hiring in London

Gambling is the undoing of many people in markets jobs in investment banks. Kweku Adoboli was addicted to spreadbetting and London-based addictions therapist Mark Dempster told us all forms of gambling are common among his City clients. Rarely, however, has a compulsive gambler blown up as dramatically as 35 year-old former UBS MD, Stuart Jones.

Jones reportedly rose to become the head of emerging market sales at UBS, but seemingly left the bank for J.P. Morgan in 2009. Thereafter, he also worked for Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

It’s not Jones’ work history that’s the issue, however: it’s what he got up to outside work. Between May 2014 and May 2015, Jones reportedly spent £3.8m gambling on horse racing, £1.8m of which was derived from colleagues and headhunter friends. James Robinson, another former MD at UBS and Jones’ boss, was among those who lost money. So was George Nice, a partner at Boyden Executive Search, and Daniel Robinson, an IT recruiter in the City. Marcus Hurst, a director in UK structured sales at BAML until he was made redundant in September 2014, invested his redundancy money in Jones’ scheme, and lost everything. Jones also defrauded his fiancee and brother.

Jones promised his ‘investors’ returns of up to 20% from betting on horses. In the event, they got nothing at all. He’s now been jailed for five years. “The part that hurts the most is that someone I considered a friend could look me in the eye and lie, knowing full well he was gambling with my life savings,” said Nice.

Separately, Reuters reports that Byron Trott, Warren Buffett’s preferred investment banker, has opened an office in Europe. Trott’s boutique, BDT & Company International, was reportedly set up in the UK in August and is awaiting regulatory approval. In the meantime, it’s reportedly looking for ‘a senior and seasoned dealmaker who has strong relationships with high net worth individuals across Western Europe, to lead the London office.’ More hires are likely to follow.

Meanwhile:

How to get on the right side of Tidjane Thiam at Credit Suisse: “Quite a few times since I took office, I have heard our teams in Asia or elsewhere, which generate returns well in excess of their cost of capital, telling me about missing out on attractive opportunities because of capital constraints.” (Reuters)

In case there were any illusion at Credit Suisse: “The investment bank is there primarily to support our ambitions in the private banking and wealth management space.” (Financial Times)

Goldman Sachs just hired an aerospace banker from Moelis. (Reuters)

Here’s how Barclays bad behaviour worked. (Bloomberg)

UK workplaces told to hold terrorism drills. (Reuters)

Cliff Assness: “Yes, I did punch my computer screen, but I did embarrassingly little damage to the computer. The chance the banking system will cease to exist was not a major part of our modelling.” (Financial News) 

The single best interview question you can ask. (Farnam Street)

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