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Morning Coffee: Ten more years of battered reputation, hedge fund’s £104m farewell

Antony Jenkins

How much longer until you can openly admit to working for a bank at dinner parties rather than pretending to be a teacher or charity worker? Oh, only around ten years.

Antony Jenkin’s guest edit of the Today programme on Radio 4 demonstrated a few things – a) he’s down with the kids, as he proved by engaging in a debate with sixth form students from East London, b) There’s still a long way to go before banking culture changes dramatically and c) High pay in the sector isn’t going away any time soon.

Jenkins believes it will be another decade before the public really starts to trust bankers again, a sentiment supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby who suggests it will take a “generation” to change public opinion on the sector. It hasn’t helped that many in the industry still refuse to believe that the 2008 financial crisis necessitates a change in culture, he says.

Reassuringly for any bankers thinking that bonuses will be consigned to history, Jenkins also thinks that high pay is a fact of life in the industry, but big bonuses should be reserved for the best people. “I am in investment banking. I have to be prepared to accept the compensation that goes along with investment banking and that it is in the interests of our shareholders.”

Still, banking pay has once again been overshadowed by enormous sums being offered to hedge fund managers. Marathon Asset Management is believed to have paid Jeremy Hosking £104m after a record year in 2012-13. However, Hosking also left last year after 26 years at the firm due to a fallout with the fund’s co-founders Neil Ostrer and Bill Arah over control over one of its funds.

Meanwhile:  

Senior staff at Goldman Sachs’ London office received a 50% uplift in compensation last year (Guardian)

There’s still work to be done on Citigroup (Financial Times)

Embezzling banker who tried to fake his own death has been caught (CNN)

JPMorgan just didn’t hire Chinese princelings fast enough (Bloomberg)

Commodities will struggle once again in 2014 (Wall Street Journal)

It’s been a very very good year for private equity (Wall Street Journal)

The likes of eBay, Google, Amazon and Microsoft are all hiring economists (Bloomberg)

Great white shark photo bomb (Independent)

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