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Morning Coffee: Meet the controversial teenage hedge fund manager. RBS to ax investment bankers after failing stress test

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A picture of Trump and Wohl featured on montgomeryassets.com

Jacob Wohl – known as the Wohl of Wall Street – started his own hedge fund while he was still in high school near Los Angeles, managing mainly family members’ and teachers’ money. His initial website was rudimentary, and featured the following pitch:

“Wohl Capital was started by its current CEO and Senior Manager Jacob Wohl. Many hedge funds take only acredited [sic] investors with $1 million of capital or more to invest. We believe that we’ve created a hedge fund for the rest of us.

“Jacob started Wohl Capital Investment Group to create a hedge fund for the average middle class investor. Without million dollar minimum investment requirements Wohl Capital’s hedge fund has provided a way for middle class investors to make real returns. With a guerrilla warfare mentality towards investing, Wohl Capital is able to outperform the institutional giants again and again.”

Having turned 18 years old and rebranded the firm as NeX Capital Management, Wohl attracted unwanted scrutiny from the National Futures Association (NFA). His father accused the regulator of “thuggery” and “stalking” and “harassing” his son. That investigation is apparently still pending.

Now Wohl has relaunched or rebranded his controversial hedge fund as Montgomery Assets. He has also upgraded his website significantly, complete with a photo of himself and President-elect Donald Trump both giving a thumbs-up.

The self-proclaimed “hedge fund guru” has launched a GoFundMe campaign to block the presidential vote recount in Wisconsin and is campaigning to help former schoolteacher and actress Diane “Pinky” Harman become the mayor of L.A. and make it great again.

Separately, how small can Royal Bank of Scotland’s investment bank go?

After RBS failed the Bank of England’s stress tests, analysts are predicting that the bank will make more cuts from its investment banking division, as well as Ulster Bank in Ireland, to boost capital. Bond underwriters and securities traders have particular cause for worry. RBS also needs to divest at least ₤44bn ($56bn) of risk-weighted assets to improve its capital buffers.

Meanwhile:

Total compensation for U.S. FICC traders is projected to rise an average of 5% from last year. (Business Insider)

Some consider Steven Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury secretary, to be a very lucky man. (ProPublica)

He made a fortune buying the IndyMac bank after it went under, rebranding it as OneWest and foreclosing on homeowners at a dizzying rate – and his resume, prominently featuring Goldman Sachs, doesn’t jive with the president-elect’s anti-Wall Street campaign rhetoric. (WSJ)

Mnuchin left the bank a decade and a half ago, but he was born into the Goldman orbit and remains part of that circle. (WSJ)

Quite a few important people have ventured through the revolving door between Goldman and the government. (New York Times)

As Gary Cohn considers doing just that, the list of candidates to take over the top job at Goldman Sachs has shrunk notably in recent weeks. (New York Times)

A prominent hedge fund manager says Donald Trump is a con man, although he’s glad that the president-elect is appointing people from the financial services industry. (Bloomberg)

Having children is a bad career move for women, and highly skilled, highly paid workers such as financial services professionals suffer a “motherhood penalty” of 10% of their income per child. (Bloomberg)

The $38bn quantitative hedge fund Two Sigma is giving a community of data scientists who collaborate the opportunity to compete for $100,000 in prize money by writing machine-learning algorithms. (Bloomberg)

Jefferies CEO Richard Handler sent a letter to staff admitting that the bank’s 2016 performance was horrible but that the outlook for 2017 is much better. (Business Insider)

Big-four accounting firm EY will cut around 40 corporate finance and restructuring staff, including sector-specialist M&A teams. (Financial News)

UBS has poached Michael Santini from Deutsche Bank only a couple of weeks after the German bank promoted him. (Financial News)

UBS is preparing to set up a wealth management hub in Frankfurt. (FT)

Citigroup may move some of its London-based equity and interest-rate derivatives traders to Frankfurt as soon as Theresa May triggers Brexit. (Bloomberg)

People working in London’s financial industry, including banks, hedge funds and insurers, believe that the number-one risk to financial stability is Brexit. (Bloomberg)

Retired baseball stars David Ortiz (a.k.a. Big Papi), Nolan Ryan and Barry Larkin are starting a private equity fund focusing on companies manufacturing the next generation of baseball equipment. (MarketWatch)

Here are tips for being a good loser when you experience on-the-job failures. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: montgomeryassets.com

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