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Morning Coffee: The incredible truth about Deutsche Bank’s John Cryan. Best trading job, wrongly presumed extinct

John Cryan bonuses

"Mr Grumpy." Or not.

Last month, we posted an April Fool’s article suggesting that John Cryan, CEO of Deutsche Bank, was having an image makeover. We take that back. Two journalists for German paper Handelsblatt were recently allowed to shadow Cryan for an entire week. The portrait of the man that emerges from this close encounter is a lot more nuanced, human and…hip than the dour personage previously associated with Deutsche’s CEO.

For example, we learn that Cryan’s father was a jazz musician. – And not just any old jazz musician, but someone who played at London jazz club Ronnie Scott’s. We also learn that Cryan speaks fluent German because he was “lured to Munich” by love 28 years ago. – That he’s a funny and improvisational story teller, is endowed with “child-like curiosity” and can be “roguish” and charming.

We find out too that Cryan’s formative years were challenging and marred by sadness: his mother died when he was a child and his father died when he was a student at Cambridge. He grew up in Sunderland – “a tough working-class city in the northeast of England.” This might be why Cryan eschews the flamboyance of predecessor Anshu Jain, who happily traveled by private jet costing $6.6k an hour. It might also be why Cryan is no stranger to hard work: “Other managers can drink their colleagues under the table. He can work them under the table,” says a former colleague from Cryan’s time at UBS.

Naturally, some of the Cryan caricature is based on reality. Cryan is brusque: when he meets Gunit Chadha, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank’s Asia Pacific operation, in a restaurant beside a “spectacular swimming pool,” he asks churlishly why they didn’t meet in the office. When Mark Fedorcik, head of DCM at Deutsche Bank tells Cryan he’s cut 100 of 965 debt capital markets staff, Cryan gives him a look that seems to imply he should cut more.  Cryan can also be obsessive in his focus: we’re told that he, “once learned 100 Latin names for trees, simply out of curiosity.”

Overall, however, the man that emerges is modest, diligent, highly-competent, and willing to learn from his mistakes. He also has a sense of humour. When Cryan read our April fool (which said he’d hired an image consultant who’d advised him to grow his hair and purchase a Harley Davidson), he was reportedly persuaded by his wife to pose in front of a Harley. Maybe those photos will make it onto Deutsche’s intranet? It would be a shame to waste them.

Separately, if you thought proprietary trading jobs in investment banks died along with the Volcker Rule, you were wrong. Bloomberg reports that Citi just disbanded a prop trading team that was betting on U.S. treasury and agency bond markets. The disbandment has nothing to do with regulation and everything to do with markets. Trading opportunities in treasuries and agency bonds have been “drying up,” says Bloomberg, noting that trading in treasuries and U.S. agency securities and their derivatives  is exempt from the heavy hand of Volcker.

Meanwhile:

An executive director in trading at Nomura was paid a salary of £310k. (Bloomberg) 

Redundancies are coming in the support functions at UBS’s wealth management unit. (Financial Times) 

Head of UBS wealth management slams the aspirations of Tidjane Thiam at Credit Suisse: “If you want to build Asia, you need a decade and you need substantial money, hundreds of millions,” (Financial Times)

80% of the finance jobs that are cut in London and New York are simply moved to cheaper locations. (Financial Times)

Credit Suisse just hired a new head of sellside MBA in the Americas. (Reuters) 

Deutsche staff accused of manipulating the LIBOR rate in Germany just had their case dropped. (CityAM)

Nomura still wants to win ECM mandates in London. It has nine people in its ECM team. (Financial News)

The British sleep more than the Germans but the Dutch sleep most of all. (Quartz) 

The ex-Deutche banker imprisoned for insider trading was trying to make money because he lost everything in his Lehman shares. (Guardian)

Dublin wants to attract 10,000 finance jobs in four years. (WSJ) 

Martin Blessing’s lesson on what to tell your colleagues when you’re qutting for a competitor: fob them off, “with some talk of travel and learning Spanish.” (Euromoney) 

Ex-Goldman banker now making homemade dog food. (Independent) 

Male receptionist sent home for not wearing a codpiece. (Daily Mash)

Oil workers in Aberdeen used to spend like bankers, but thye’re cutting back: “Now I hear colleagues talking at the water cooler about how they’re having to learn to cook for their boyfriends.” (Telegraph) 

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