It’s not easy to make a lot of money as a young trader in an investment bank any more. Ambitious juniors are being encouraged to join hedge funds instead, but hedge fund jobs aren’t usually open to people who haven’t been through graduate training programmes (in banks). And you can’t get into a graduate programme unless you’ve been to a top university. So what do you do if you want to be a trader and are a non-graduate working as a food delivery operative? 25-year old Alex Hope thought he had the answer.
Hope raised £5.6m ($9.4m) from investors after claiming to be an FX trading genius. In March 2012, then aged 23, he said he was making a “six figure salary” trading the foreign exchange markets. As proof of his abilities, Hope spent £205k on a single night out at a club in Liverpool and was dubbed a ‘City whizz kid’ who was ‘tipped to become one of the biggest traders in London.’
Unfortunately however, Hope’s success turned out to be illusory. Bloomberg reports that the ‘trader’ is now in court charged with defrauding his investors. Despite making audacious claims about his trading abilities and claiming to work from 7am until midnight, it seems that Hope spent most of the £5.6m he raised in casinos and nightclubs. When he did trade, he almost invariably lost money. On his own website, Hope described himself as, ‘ a talented, charismatic and thoroughly likeable man.’ That may be so: in 2012, he persuaded the London Stock Exchange to endorse his ‘Fast Growth Entrepreneurs Club networking event at the Westbury Gallery in Mayfair.’ A lot of people were taken in.
Separately, should you be working for the Bank of England? Following yesterday’s upset about high pay at Wall Street regulators, we’ve come across some documents outlining pay grades at the Bank of England. According to the most recent pay scales, released in March 2014, salaries at the Bank range from £17k (grade one, graduates and clerical staff) to £122k (senior managers). Heads of division can get more than £140k. Salaries at the Bank are supplemented with bonuses, but bonuses are small: last year the largest was £20k.
The FCA has just hired a former Lehman MD to advise on investment banking and markets policy. (Bloomberg)
UBS and Credit Suisse both won M&A deals after employing a banker who was having an affair with a key client. (Financial Times)
Goldman Sachs just lost seven of its prime brokerage people in Asia. (Bloomberg)
The average bonus in Paris is three times smaller than in London. (eFinancialCareers.fr)
The average bonus at BNP Paribas fell 16% last year. At SocGen, it fell 7%. (eFinancialCareers.fr)
Danske and Nordea are hiring DCM bankers in Scandinavia. (Bloomberg)
Goldman Sachs’ head of compliance embroiled in complaint about aroma of neighbours’ horses. (Dealbreaker)
Tragedy as wife of Investec banker kills their three children who were suffering from a degenerative condition. (Telegraph)
In 1965 men with a degree had slightly more leisure time than those who had left education after school. However, by 2005, university graduates were working eight hours a week more. (The Times)
Which colour to wear if you want to seem competent. (Telegraph)
Algorithms make better hiring decisions than adults. (HBR)
Barclays AGM is upon us. Contested issues won’t just include bonuses: tax havens and coal-fired power stations are also expected to excite attendees. (Guardian)