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Morning Coffee: 36 year-old hedge fund managers to make you weep. Scary automated future at Goldman Sachs

Sebastian Eiseler

Meanwhile, in Mayfair....

If you’re around 36 years of age and you haven’t a) very nearly retired, b) undertaken “the work of six people,” or c) registered plans to build a “super basement” under your “£2 million mansion”, you’ve clearly failed. Such are the lifestyles modeled by hedge fund managers of your demographic.

First up, we have Jim Rogers, the irrepressible ex-Soros sidekick, who tells the Financial Times that his retirement at 37 was a kind of personal failure because he’d planned to retire aged 35 in order to, “have more than one life, more than one career.” By the time he retired at 37, Rogers (now 73) had already co-founded a hedge fund that returned 4,200% over a decade, done ‘six people’s work’, and arrived at the conclusion that most people in finance, “were wrong.” Since quitting, he’s traveled the world on a motorbike, traveled the world again in a custom Mercedes, fathered two daughters who speak fluent Mandarin, and become a serious advocate of getting out of banking and into farming (“The farmers are the ones who are going to prosper for the next 30 years, not fund managers.”)

Alongside Rogers, we have Sebastian Eiseler, a senior vice president at Oaktree Capital Management, the distressed debt hedge fund with around $97bn under management. 36 year-old Eiseler has worked for Oaktree since leaving Lazard (where he was a mere associate) nine years ago. As well as being an SVP at Oaktree, Eiseler has seven directorships, and a fancy £2m ($2.8m), five-bedroomed house in London’s Highgate, beneath which he aspires to build a 440 sq ft extension.

If Rogers and Eiseler leave you feeling inadequate then you take solace in the fact that neither man has it that easy. Seven years ago, Rogers told the Financial Times that he was 35 before he made his first million, suggesting he might not have been that wealthy when he retired two years later. And Eiseler’s basement aspirations are resulting in his vilification by fellow residents who accuse him of being greedy and spoiling a woodland walk with plans to transport building materials along it. “I do feel targeted,” he says, “- people have described me as a greedy banker but I want to make that house a home for my family.”

Separately, Marty Chavez at Goldman Sachs has been expounding upon his plans to take the banker out of banking. In future, clients at Goldman will have, ““a very different configuration of the financial services industry than the one we have now,” Goldman’s technology chief tells the New York Times. Thanks to Chavez, Goldman clients will be able to directly access sophisticated trading data previously available only by phoning a Goldman employee. This has been causing ructions among Goldman people who think they’re about to be rendered surplus to requirement. Chavez is unrepentant: “He basically said something to the effect of: ‘If your job is a purely manual job and you are just clicking buttons, you should look to upgrade your skills set now,’” Adam Korn, global head of equities franchise trading, told the NYT.

Meanwhile:

“By the time I was 27, five years into my career at Goldman, I had been promoted from analyst to associate, and from associate to vice president. I had gone from making $10,000 as an intern to making over $340,000 as a vice president.” (CNBC)

Deutsche Bank is no longer a top three global investment bank. (Financial Times)

Colm Kelleher adheres to the new principal of a pay cut before a promotion. (Bloomberg) 

Complaining about compliance spending has become an excuse for poor results. (Euromoney) 

Maybe you want to work for the new Saudi Arabian mega-fund? (Bloomberg) 

“Less than 10 years ago, every investment bank was talking about expanding in the BRIC countries. We have now got to a point where almost everyone is retrenching.” (Reuters) 

My year in start up hell: “The offices bear a striking resemblance to the Montessori preschool that my kids attended.” (Fortune)

Barclays LIBOR traders Jonathan Mathew, Stylianos Contogoulas, Jay Merchant, Alex Pabon and Ryan Reich are standing trial this week. (Financial Times)

Bond traders need to read governments, not markets: “In Europe, when you talk about bonds you have to take into account the huge programs of the ECB.” (Bloomberg)

Windowless Goldman Sachs gym costs more the more senior you become. (Business Insider) 

“When I became pregnant with my son, I was an investment banker, and I came to the conclusion that there was no way I could gestate him and work those hours. So I quit and went home… without a job or a real plan. Don’t do that.” (Ellevest) 

It helps to be a friend of Vladimir Putin. (The Guardian)

Photo credit: Monopoly by Images Money is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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