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Morning Coffee: BAML lures large Scottish rugby player. Goldman’s going (sort of) downmarket

Rugby (2)

As advisory and financing work picks up, now is the time for relationship bankers to shine – especially in the UK, where banks’ relationships with corporate clients are mediated by so-called ‘corporate brokers’ who help clients understand how their actions will impact their stock price.

Accordingly, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) has poached UBS’s corporate broking supremo, Tim Waddell. Waddell, a red-haired six foot two inch Scottish rugby player and UBS veteran of 30 years, will reportedly be tasked with building BAML’s relationships with existing British clients and adding new ones. In his new role (officially titled vice chairman of global corporate and investment banking in EMEA), Waddell is reunited with Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, another old-school ex-UBS banker who is BAML’s head of Europe and emerging markets ex-Asia.

Separately, Goldman is reportedly pushing into the non-glamourous area of commercial banking. The firm has appointed a new head of strategy in the form of Stephen Scherr. Bloomberg says Scherr’s role will include ‘seeking opportunities for revenue growth even if broader market conditions don’t improve in the near term.’ More specifically, the FT says Scherr will be looking at how to increase the size of Goldman’s commercial bank and wealth management division. Raising the status of commercial bankers has ruffled feathers at JPMorgan and BAML in the past, making it interesting to see how Goldman’s investment bankers get on with their new commercial bedfellows. Goldman’s wealth management division seems solidly elitist, however: at a conference last week, Goldman COO Gary Cohn reportedly said that the average account balance for Goldman’s wealth management customers is $40m – far higher than at rival firms.

Meanwhile:

RBC Capital Markets has hired two top ranked retail researchers, Richard Chamberlain and Mark Wallis, from BAML. (Financial News) 

Pay for banking chief executives rose 10% last year. (Financial Times) 

Pay for Ross McEwan at RBS was 20% that of Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs. (Financial Times) 

John Phizackerley, ex-head of Nomura in EMEA, is set to become chief executive of Tullett Prebon. (Financial Times) 

Barclays is cutting 100 jobs in Asia this week. (Bloomberg) 

UBS and RBS’s Connecticut trading floors are becoming horribly empty. UBS has put a few compliance staff on its floor, to help fill the space. (Financial Times)

Beware the CFA zombies. (Alphaville) 

Finance firms will be hiring 18% more graduates this year than last year. KPMG and PWC will be hiring 30% more each. (City Am) 

I made $1m in a trade against a hedge fund and was compelled to pay $500k of it back. The hedge fund was an important client and my trade was jeopardizing millions in fees. (Guardian) 

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