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Morning Coffee: Fancy working alongside an 86-year-old hedge fund guru? Where the boys’ club of finance still lives

Soros' world view has darkened

Soros' world view has darkened

Who said there were no big opportunities in the financial sector right now? George Soros is looking for his seventh chief investment officer of the new millennium.

Ted Burdick, who had been in the role for just eight months following his promotion from head of distressed debt and arbitrage groups at the $25bn family office, has stepped down, according to Bloomberg.

The search is on for a replacement, and the new candidate will ideally have experience of macroeconomic investing. Soros is currently very bearish on the state of global markets and said in June that Brexit had “unleashed” a 2007-08 style crisis.

On the face of it, it seems like a good way of gaining vital mentorship and secret sauce recipes from a hedge fund legend, even if the bar to entry is incredibly high. Keith Anderson, one former CIO and co-founder of Blackrock, has since gone on to launch (and close) his own hedge fund. Scott Bessent, who was in the role before Burdick, has raised $4.5bn for his own new hedge fund and hired a bunch of Soros alumni.

Except, over the past eight months – i.e. since Burdick was in charge – Soros has been more ‘hands on’. At the time of his appointment, as the WSJ reports, the firm had decided to pull back from macro investing – Soros’ own specialty – but this has been reversed has his own “world view darkened”. Perhaps it’s not such a sweet gig after all and explains why Burdick has gone back to managing money.

Separately, while investment banks are still a long way from gender parity, outright sexism of the sort you might read in accounts of life in the financial sector like City Boy or Tarney Duff are unlikely to be commonplace as banks have cracked down in the wake of various law suits.

Asset management seems to still be sticking with tradition, however. Two-thirds of women have regularly experienced sexism at work, according to an FT study. 25% have experienced sexual harassment.

“I worked for 12 years as a trader and portfolio manager. Sexism was always rampant. The habit of male bonding at strip bars is pervasive,” said one respondent.

Meanwhile:

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re the head of the mafia or Nasa, it’s ‘why has he got a bigger office than me?’ It’s human,” Ricky Gervais on the horror of working in an office (Financial Times)

Two former Bank of America lawyers found love after leaving for new employers. His new employer was fine with it, hers said it was a “conflict of interest”. Is this sexism? (Financial Times)

Helena Morrissey has stepped down as CEO of Newton Asset Management (Financial Times)

Newton’s new CEO, Hanneke Smits, is a big campaigner to increase the number of senior women in asset management (Financial News)

Wall Street banks would very much like an extra five years to comply with the Volcker rule (Reuters)

“There’s consolidation going on in our industry, and there’s an opportunity for those who are aggressive. We’re focused on being one of the winners.” Middle market investment bank, Lincoln International, is growing (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Senior bankers looking to escape bureaucracy and secure a big pay day are joining boutiques (Reuters)

Oh dear, Denmark’s largest corporation has shunned the advice of investment banks as it looks to break up (Bloomberg)

Mizhuo was one of the few investment banks hiring for rates swaps in London. This has been frozen as it merges with an existing UK market maker (Financial News)

58% of CFAs think financial services organisations will shrink in London after Brexit (City Wire)

Nomura has poached a new head of sales for Europe from Citi (Financial News)

If Scotland leaves the UK, the Royal Bank of Scotland will still leave Scotland (BBC)

Brexit Leave voters are feeling victimised in the workplace and have started bringing formal complaints against their colleagues (Financial Times)

Tent city in Oakland: “Some of the people living in these tent cities have jobs, making $40,000 a year, but they can’t pay the new rents. I was born and raised in Oakland. It’s becoming a different place. What existed is being pulled apart.” (The Times)

Photo: PeopleImages.com/Getty Images

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