If you’re a Millennial or a member of ‘Generation Z’, you’re probably pretty into your phone. You’re probably an avid user of Snapchat, or Facebook, or WhatsApp. Maybe you send the odd text message? If you join an investment bank, there will be none of that (or at least not in work hours).
Deutsche Bank suspended a rates trader for using WhatsApp in December. Now Bloomberg reports that the German bank has gone one step further and banned all employees from using ‘communication apps’ like WhatsApp and from sending text messages whilst at work.
“We fully understand that the deactivation will change your day-to-day work and we regret any inconvenience this may cause. However, this step is necessary to ensure Deutsche Bank continues to comply with regulatory and legal requirements,” said the bank in a memo from Chief regulatory officer Sylvie Matherat and chief operating officer Kim Hammonds
The policy applies to work phones issued by Deutsche and to private phones used by employees for work purposes. It seems unlikely that a snap of your lunch sent from the trading floor would be permissible though.
In 2010, the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority began forcing banks to record and store traders’ mobile-phone calls for six months. One investment bank told the FSA that it would cost ₤500k ($611k) to monitor the calls of 50 employees.
Deutsche’s severance of the social media cord comes as most banks are busy trying to woo young people with shorter working hours, accelerated promotions and Silicon Valley-style tech offices. Whether this will palliate young employees’ forcible removal from social media remains to be seen.
Separately, earnings season is officially in full swing, and most big Wall Street banks’ stock prices are on the rise. Bullish analysts say it’s officially OK to fall in love with U.S. banks again as Friday’s fourth-quarter results released by big banks validated the industry’s post-presidential election rally that some thought might have gotten ahead of itself.
Some bankers are popping champagne in celebration. J.P. Morgan Chase’s 4Q net profit rose by 24% from a year earlier and Bank of America Merrill Lynch shot up by 43%, both beating already high expectations.
Daniel Pinto, the CEO of the firm’s corporate and investment bank, sent out a celebratory memo to take a victory lap and pat his staff on the back.
One bank that was not invited to the party? Wells Fargo, which continues to struggle with the fallout from a phony accounts scandal that damaged its reputation last year as revenues sank. The bank saw net profits decline by 5.4% from a year earlier and arguably isn’t positioned well for a rising-rate environment.
The number of City London job openings fell 27% between November and December, dipping below 5k, the lowest monthly figure for all of last year, according to Morgan McKinley. (City A.M.)
The largest European manager, Amundi, believes that Republican deficit hawks will rain on the Trump administration’s planned fiscal-stimulus parade, thwarting the bullish expectations of investors who have driven U.S. stock markets to record highs. (Bloomberg)
Joshua Kushner, Jared’s younger brother, is the founder of a venture capital firm, Thrive Capital, which has financed the photo-sharing app Instagram and the e-commerce company Jet.com, and he is now getting caught up in the scrutiny of Trump associates. (New York Times)
Ray Kahn, an ex-Lehman Brothers banker and a former managing director and the head of over-the-counter derivatives client clearing at Barclays, has joined the Ice exchange group’s interest-rate derivatives business. (Risk.net)
Why can’t you move to the buy side? A reversal of fortune. (Bloomberg)
BlackRock, the world’s largest publicly traded money manager, reported that its assets under management grew to $5.1 trillion but its full-fiscal-year profit decreased slightly as money flowed from actively managed funds to ETFs. (New York Times)
Wall Street’s biggest banks are in a bright spot after years of massive layoffs and pay cuts, but the same cannot be said for the largest asset managers. (Bloomberg)
These five trends are ominous signs for the securities industry. (Bloomberg)
Citadel Securities is trying a low-tech approach to less-liquid areas of the fixed-income market, relying more on humans than computers, a departure from its high-tech approach to taking a slice of big Wall Street banks’ business. (Bloomberg)
Point72 Asset Management returned about 1% last year, the second-worst annual performance ever for the billionaire Steve Cohen’s family office – his predecessor hedge fund firm, SAC Capital Advisors, it averaged 30% annual returns and suffered losses only one year – 2008, when it sank 28%. (Bloomberg)
Feras Al-Chalabi, a senior partner who ran Odey Asset Management’s Allegra European and European Absolute Return fund for 18 years, is set to leave after a rough year performance-wise for the firm. (Financial News)
Profits at hedge fund manager Lansdowne Partners UK surged from £218m in the previous financial year to £366.4m. (WSJ)
Pemberton Capital Advisors, Bain Capital and others are preparing to lend $50bn to leveraged borrowers in Europe that traditional lenders shunned as too risky. (Bloomberg)
During a heated spat over the 10-year Treasury yield, Jeffrey Gundlach called rival Bill Gross as a “second-tier” bond manager, revealing that feud isn’t really about bond yields, but rather who’s considered the bond king. (Bloomberg)
Why are only 9.4% of American mutual fund managers women? (New York Times)
How do you tell your boss you have too much work to do without coming across as lazy, uncommitted or not a team player? (Harvard Business Review)
Heading to Davos for the World Economic Forum? Here are the best places to ski. (Bloomberg)