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Morning Coffee: Ex-Citi trader’s guide to spotting talent in schools. Where to work in finance if you hate sharing

Spot the unpopular child who's prone to pedantry about rules

Spot the unpopular child who's prone to pedantry about rules

It’s a question faced by bank’s graduate recruitment teams daily – how can you identify trading talent of the future before everyone else does? Ex-Citigroup prop- trader-turned photographer of the night, Chris Arnade, thinks he has a solution. Writing in the Guardian, Arnade suggests you might be able to identify future trading talent – and potentially other banking talent too – simply by looking at the way children play games.

Arnade says traders – and Wall Street as a whole – are represented by the children in playgrounds who try and twist the rules of games by over-analyzing them. “You remember that kid in elementary school, the one who would argue during a game of tag: “- Who said, you said you have to tag the person. Well you only touched my clothes and that isn’t a person.” – Remember that kid? That kid is Wall Street,” says Arnade. These children are, “So clever, so damned determined to win, they will argue and argue, finding whatever shortcomings a game has, and try to exploit it,” Arnade adds. They’re also sort of unpopular with their peers – but that doesn’t matter as they’re only interested in coming out on top.

Arnade presents his points facetiously to illustrate banks’ innate tendency to game rules imposed upon them by regulators. However, as an early-stage recruiting strategy, there might be something in it…

Separately, Bloomberg has an article which should provide succour to anyone who can’t get with banks’ insistence on knowledge-sharing and teamwork and is wondering where to work in finance. At Jump trading, the Chicago-based high frequency trading firm with offices in New York, London and Singapore, Bloomberg says sharing is discouraged. Instead, it says traders work independently in teams that can be as small as two people (albeit as large as 20). What goes on within each team is secret. “The teams don’t share information about trading strategies with each other — profitable groups are rewarded with more technology or money to trade with,” says Bloomberg. Jump may also suit you if you’re an anti-materialist anti-snob. Co-founder Bill DiSomma reportedly drives a dump truck to work and lives in an area ‘known for the diverse backgrounds of its inhabitants.’

Meanwhile: 

Barclays says the allegations concerning its dark pool were baseless and its marketing documents were totally fine. It wants the lawsuit thrown out. Barclays dark pool professionals have crossed their fingers. (Reuters)

Goldman is creating its own chatroom called Babble. JPMorgan’s in on it too. People working for Bloomberg messaging have reason to feel concerned. (Financial Times)

Investors are pulling back from hedge funds because of concerns about high fees and low returns. Hedge fund managers may yet need to earn less. (WSJ) 

40% of private equity firm KKR’s Q2 earnings didn’t come from private equity, but from diversified lines like fixed income investments. What does it say about private equity when even the big firms are diversifying away from it? (Financial Times)

Options trader made a 3,000% return in two hours by betting on Sodastream. Was that luck, or insider trading? (CNBC)

Danske CEO says he might make some job cuts if FICC volumes don’t come back soon. Danish traders are not immune to market forces. (Bloomberg) 

Citigroup’s new head of global prime brokerage is keeping some of his previous (global custody responsibilities) in his new role. Is this a new way for Citi to save money? (Bloomberg) 

You can still get a global promotion in Asia. Citi’s new global head of equity derivatives has been based there since 2012. (Reuters) 

Morgan Stanley has made sustainable improvements to profitability and lowered risk in its trading unit, says Moody’s. It may now be upgraded from two levels above junk in the medium term. Nervous clients might trade with Morgan Stanley again one day soon. (Bloomberg) 

How to recover from burnout. (The Muse) 

How to handle a Skype job interview.  (Mashable) 

Deutsche Bank’s new facial morphing video. (YouTube)

Related articles:

Deutsche’s entire FICC strategy at risk. Deutsche Bank MD extols anti-materialism

Ex Goldman VP advises on quitting the firm. Credit Suisse to make emerging markets and credit layoffs too?

Aspiring bankers pricing real bankers out of homes. Who wants to join JPMorgan’s hot new team?

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