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Morning Coffee: Barclays’ VPs might be feeling frustrated. Lavish life of 50 year-old HSBC trader

Barclays M&A VPS

So much for ‘juniorization.’ At Barclays’ European M&A business, the opposite seems to be happening. In an interview with Financial News, Barclays’ senior investment bankers in EMEA, explained that they’ve been using senior staff on deals while other banks have opted for mid-rankers.

“We have staffed deals with MDs when VPs have turned up from our competitors,” said Sam Dean, co-head of Barclays’ EMEA business. “If we had executed badly on our first IPO in the Netherlands, for example, then word would have spread quickly around Amsterdam and it becomes really hard to get another mandate. Fortunately the opposite was true.”

On this basis, it could be some time before Barclays feels comfortable letting its European VPs take charge of executing deals. “To get to a credible, mature ECM and M&A business takes 10 years,” Dean added. “We’re just over halfway through and we think we’re nicely on track. All we have to do is keep executing really well.”

Separately, HSBC isn’t known for paying well, but Mark Johnson, the bank’s 50 year old global head of FX trading who was arrested at John F. Kennedy airport yesterday, doesn’t appear to have been doing too badly. Until the arrest, Johnson’s time was reportedly split between New York and London. In New York, he lived in a £15k ($19k) a-month apartment in an Art Deco block building overlooking Central Park equipped with a pet spa. In the UK, he lived in a £1.8m house in Hampshire.  Johnson is currently released on $1m bail and will appear in court next Thursday.

Meanwhile:

The great story of the May premiership is her attitude to the City of London. The balance between the financial sector’s interests and those of anti-immigrant, left-behind Britain will be the acid test for her government. (Guardian)

By allowing the UK to run a current account deficit, the financial services sector benefited workers as well as the banks. It possible robust growth of domestic consumption, thus boosting demand for low-skilled labour and pushing up real wages (at least until 2003-4) – as well as facilitating expansion of household credit and boosting the tax revenues that underpinned investment in public service. (Bath University)

Senior Lazard banker Ron Bloom is off to the buy-side. (NY Times) 

Andy McDonnell, global head of convertibles at Deutsche Bank, is retiring. (MarketWatch) 

Terra Firma has a new CEO from Citigroup, even though it was – until recently – embroiled in a legal battle with Citigroup. (Financial News) 

J.P. Morgan is paying a $200m fine to settle an investigation into allegations that it hired the children of top Chinese officials. (Bloomberg) 

“Everything is trading like it’s being bought [by the ECB] anyway. Fundamentals don’t seem to matter.” (Financial News)  

Adolescents with richer parents are better at maths. (NCBI)

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