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Morning Coffee: Sales trader with phenomenal work ethic dies aged 51. Goldman bankers work for free

Overworked traders

Take your work to the urinal

You might think you’re devoted to your work, but Kevin Swain – a former partner and institutional sales trader at BTIG LLC in New Jersey – would almost certainly have put you to shame.

Bloomberg reports that Swain, who tragically died of a heart attack aged just 51 last weekend, had a work ethic to rival that of the most diligent junior in M&A. “He never wanted to be off the desk,” Swain’s boss told Bloomberg, adding that the trader would wear his headset so as to remain ‘tethered to clients’ throughout the day – even when visiting the lavatory or leaving the building to put money in the parking meter. “He had a saying that he had no time for friends. But his clients were his friends and his friends were his clients,” Swain’s boss added.

Swain’s trading career began at Lehman Brothers in 1991. Over 25 years, he worked for Lehman, Cantor Fitzgerald, Jefferies and BBG – and, despite having no time for friends married and had seven children. It’s not clear whether Swain spent his whole career ‘tethered’ to the desk. Nor is it clear that Swain’s relentlessly hard work in latter years contributed to his untimely demise. – He was health-conscious too and had an ‘inversion desk’ from which Bloomberg says he would, ‘sometimes execute trades while hanging upside down.’

Separately, if you’re a valued client then Goldman Sachs M&A bankers will give you advice for free. The Financial Times reports that some of Goldman’s most senior investment bankers in Europe, including Michael Sherwood and Anthony Gutman, gave retail magnate Philip Green “intermittent” advice over a two month period on the sale of troubled retail chain BHS. For this, they charged Green nothing at all.

Meanwhile:

Goldman banker at the centre of the Libyan fund scandal sued the bank for a $9m bonus and settled out of court for $4.5m. (Financial Times) 

Goldman Sachs bankers paid for prostitutes, private jets and five-star hotels and held business meetings on yachts to win business from a Libyan investment fund set up under Gaddafi regime. (Guardian)

How about working for Frank Quattrone? His boutique, Qatalyst Partners, just won a role on the $26bn sale of LinkedIn to Microsoft. (Financial Times)

CRT Capital, a US broker-dealer, has closed its London-based credit business. (Global Capital) 

Standard Chartered bankers have been fiddling their expenses and making loans to colleagues. (Bloomberg)

As Asian markets slump, UBS’s head of equities in Asia says more cuts are likely across the industry. (SMH)  

Julius Baer has hired 100 people in Asia so far this year. (FiNews)

Henry Elphick, an M&A banker hired by Jefferies as head of healthcare in 2009, is leaving. (Financial News) 

What the salesman of the future will look like: ‘The “human touch” will need to focus more on managing exceptions, tolerating ambiguity, using judgment, shaping the strategies and questions that machines will help enable and answer…’  (HBR) 

Hedge fund fees consume 80% of alpha. Hedge fund managers have been doing well; hedge fund investors have not. (Financial Times)  

Banks monitoring staff emails for words that indicate disgruntlement and discontentment. (Financial News)  

You might be aware of your body language, but do you know how much you nod? (BPS)

Photo credit: Urinal by Cade Buchanan is licensed under CC BY 2.0.b

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