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Were Bear Stearns bankers quite good after all?

SocGen’s pinched Michel Peretie, Merrill’s pinched Fares D. Noujaim, and at least two Bear bankers (Jeff Mayer and Craig Overlander) are sufficiently confident of their own desirability to turn down Jamie Dimon’s offer of employment. Could it be that Bear Stearns had some pretty good people on its books?

Off the record, one senior JPMorgan banker in Europe says there were a few, but that most of Bear’s talented staff have been targeted by other firms – despite Jamie Dimon’s call for rivals to leave them alone (except of course, those he didn’t want himself).

London headhunters say Bear’s business was good in patches. “They had a few good sector teams in healthcare and TMT,” says one advisory search consultant.

“There were pockets of good people in areas like structured credit, and people like Peretie were very high calibre,” says a fixed income headhunter.

Headhunters say the main thing Bear bankers bring to the table is a sense of entrepreneurialism born of Bear’s maverick culture. “A salesman who was making 10m at Bear Stearns could probably make 20m at JPMorgan,” says one. “These guys are used to making things happen themselves.”

Those qualities also mean Bear types may find the bureaucracy of JPMorgan too stifling for their taste. “You couldn’t get two banks that are more culturally distinct,” says one headhunter. “Given the market, people will stay at JPMorgan for a year and leave once their guaranteed bonuses have been paid out.”

Comments (36)

  1. The bottom line is people only worked at Bear Stearns if they weren’t good enough quality for the better banks. Get rejected by Goldmans = go to MS and the likes. Get rejected from there and go to Deutsche or UBS. Get rejected from there and go to ABN or Dresdner. Get rejected from every bank on the street and resign your fate to Bear. The calibre of some bear people was just appalling – they took a huge chunk of graduates from universities like Lancaster, Sheffield and Leeds!! Goodbye and good riddance.

  2. Henry

    Seems like you were even rejected at Bear….

  3. Henry – you rate how good a US bank is by where the London office grads come from ???
    seems like you’re a cambridge grad rejected by bear!

  4. Even in the States, Bear is inferior to Goldmans, MS, Merrill, Citi, UBS, Lehman..even sodding BofA! Same thing there, you only go to Bear if you weren’t good enough for a top shop. Your comments that I got rejected by Bear are dry, unfunny and completely illogical. I didn’t have to apply to Bear thankyou due to being of bulge bracket calibre.

  5. Wow, worse than Dresdner…..

  6. Henry

    Do you have an enourmas pair of genitals?

    You sound very impressive


  7. Nonsense. Seen excellent MIT grads go there. In any case, quality of educational establishment does not correlate well with ability to thrive at a bulge bracket bank.

  8. Bottom line is Henry that you are an arrogant plonker with your qualifications and judgements.

  9. Henry, looks like however good you think you are, you have too much time on your hands, writing on the wall. Sounds like you need to be taken down a few notches ego wise…and people with your arrogance in the city give it a bad name.

  10. Henry, I think you talk a load or cr@p! there is a bright future for you at BarCap!

  11. We don’t want any more Bear people to send their CV’s to the Commercial Bank of Ghana…thankyou.

  12. you all sound like idiots

  13. As an ex Bear employee, as a grad from LSE I had offers from Goldmans and Merrill but chose Bear because they offered me real work unlike the secretarial type work that you are probably used to Henry!

    Luckily for me I did not come across many pratts like you at Bear Stearns.

  14. Who in their right mind would want to work for the Commercial Bank of Ghana?!

  15. Henry is surely Henry M-M from GS IBD…

  16. I wish i could be as brilliant and as great as Henry. Wow – and a cambridge grad too. We should bring a stop to all this job market talk nonsense and just look on in wonderment at the achievements and word of Henry. My achievements to date, my whole life, pales into insignificance with the power and greatness of Henry (from previous postings on other efinancialcareers walls), a “Bulge Bracket”, Bear hater, who seems to be an FX junior trader (though other posts indicate a VP – as he got promoted every year), like a brilliant vision of light.

  17. Henry,

    Ok you may work for a bulge bracket house – but I bet you have no more than a couple of years experience as your comments sound very juvenile. Not the type of thing a seasoned pro would say

    But who knows, within the next few months you could lose your job.

    Your arrogance will, then, get you know where very fast

    You may have a decent name on your CV, but unfortunately you have no class

  18. I dont even know how the ghana commercial bank even comes into this thread……but just to add my two pence worth: it is a fantastic place to work as it originates from the greatest place on earth: GHANA!

  19. Henry,

    You are an idiot. You are a worker being paid 100,000- 200,000 a year. I run my business and I can buy people like you out so allow the arrogance. if I started speaking like you or if others speak like they can leave you behind the dust.

    You have no right to talk, your an employee. Allow the arrogance I have seen many people talk big and loose evrything.

  20. Henry – who gives a damn what tier your bank is in? All that matters is what you get paid. I’ve turned down jobs at the BBs before as they could not compete on pay.
    It is not the case always that the likes of GS and MS pay the most, infact for VP positions down they often do not and try to get away with discounting your total comp and replacing it with “look at the power GS on your CV will have” type “benefits”.
    I work for whatever place pays me the most – if bear still existed i’d have preferred to have gone there than work at one of the other top 5 US houses

  21. Henry, you clearly sign on to the dole and spend your social on Cider in the Park. You have way too much time on your hands between dog and horse races in the Ladbrokes. Dont comment on stuff that is way way above your intellect.
    Bear was a fantastic firm. I worked at Bear having turned down a Job at MS and Deutsche. I feel perhaps you were rejected from a role in the postroom in one of these firms.

  22. Its certainly worth taking a paycut to work at the likes of Goldman. Money is not the be-all and end-all. You don’t get admiration, respect or kudos if you told people you meet at socials / networking events you worked at Bear vs GS. Try getting a string of hot girls as a Bear employee. Your exit ops are better with a prestigious firm on your CV, whereas Bear is a stain on it.

    Btw for those saying I’m junior, I got promoted to VP as a trader 4 years after graduating. Its great to have a 1.2m property whilst peers my age are earning a pathetic 30-40k, not getting endless opportunities and a more endless string of hot women. And btw, you’ll get nowhere in life without some arrogance, a sheepish humble type goes nowhere in the City.

  23. Henry – you’ve probably worked for one firm, have just a few year’s of experience at one single desk – you have no idea about the city. “Money is not the be-all and end-all.” then the next paragraph you bang on about how much you earn!!
    Please keep replying!!! – your postings are so damn funny – you are the best

  24. Dictionary: HENRY = JERK, RETARD!

    I am very sorry for you … you can’t get women without stating which company you are working for – you are a pathetic! I guess you are doing every man a big favour as we all can pass on women with a price tag…

    Btw: Didn’t know that a VP level is already considered senior and four years after graduation … WOW we are all deeply impressed about your employer’s ability and judgement of promoting jerks!

  25. Henry you have to show your cv to get “hot girls”? sorry I do not understand this, can you explain………..do you normally have your cv on hand when meeting girls, I cannot think a real fx dealer would need to flash a cv to get “hot girls”. as a FX dealer, you should be quick enough to have something to say to a “hot girl” other than I work at GS and have a 1.2mio property….don’t you think……….or maybe FX traders have changed or maybe, just maybe, you are not being completely honest with all of us?

  26. I am embarassed to have gone to a leading university when t**ts like “string of hot girls” Henry mouth off such snobbery. I am glad though not to have to squeeze into such a tiny property, not to have a huge mortgage on mine, and to have abandoned the city (chiefly to get away from the Henrys of this world) some years ago.

    If Henry is so well educated, surely he understands that trading is just a lottery, that Bear Stearns were just unlucky and a “good” trader is just one who has been luckier so far.

  27. If Henry is so successful why is he on efinancialcareers.co.uk all day? Slow day in corporate actions?

  28. dunbankin, you clearly have no idea about how trading works if you think it is purely a lottery. Explain then how there’s plenty of traders with a consistent track record of alpha generation? Do you think they tossed a coin and coincidentally got it right every single time? Intellect and foresight can be a huge player in making the right calls.

    And guys, face up to the truth. The quality of women a guy at GS gets will be much superior to one at Bear, you just need to look at ball photos to prove that. Its a natural hierarchy where the most stunning girls go to alpha male bankers, the uglier ones to accountants, teachers and factory workers. Deal with the truth.

  29. Henry – this is the best wind up I’ve seen in a long time… you should be on stage

  30. Henry – you a a comedian – i think you are great – keep it coming, making the whole desk this morning have a laugh. Never have i read such ridiculous set of postings from one guy (hmmmm though maybe it’s a journalist having joke) on any finance related board.
    You’re arguments are so not thouught out – the power of foresight as opposed to luck?? Girls who want to snare a banker really rank you by your house name?? ….and your proof – “Ball” photos!!!!
    Editor – can you please create a “Henry’s view on the City” section. Offer this guy a job. He posts so much anyway

  31. Hey Henry’s right – who needs luck when you have the magical power of foresight in your armoury? Not only can he tell jokes but do magic too -like an FX version of Paul Daniels, but with a higher quality Debbie McGee owing to his BB status (i don’t think the great paul daniels ever worked in tier 1 of IB – but henry please correct me if i am wrong)

  32. I can’t believe how much everyone is lambasting my comments about hot girls. Whether you like it or not, its a pretty simple fact that the hottest girls go for the most eligible guys, and that is very largely based on their profession and prestige of their company. In sports, the hottest girls – the slim 6ft beauties with blonde and brunette ponytails to their waists – are with guys from Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea. The girls with the West Brom and Stoke City guys are nowhere near as hot. The same applies in banking – Goldmans > UBS > Bear. It is obvious and I can’t believe I have to try and provide evidence to show that. All the rebuttals have been pathetic comebacks with zero evidence negating what I’m saying. If you honestly think the quality of women a Bear Stearns banker will on average gain beats that of a Goldmans counterpart, you are thoroughly deluded.

  33. Henry – you are a star!
    You are attempting to exhibit knowledge about football now!!
    “- the slim 6ft beauties with blonde and brunette PONYTAILS TO THEIR WAISTS” – HUH????? Very paticular tastes there mr henry superstar-fx- trader-guy

  34. Not that peculiar really is it? The majority of the hottest girls will exhibit waist-length hair. Open a copy of FHM and see how many have it short up to their neck or whatever. Not many. Again, you immaturely laughing without providing any evidence whatsoever to counterargue. I don’t need to be a footballing expert to know that the girlfriends of Chelsea footballers are much hotter than West Brom, Leeds United or Scarborough ones, that’s beyond obvious.

  35. hahahahahahahahahahaha!
    i said “particluar” not peculiar!! 2 different words – look ’em up! I just don’t know many girls walking around with waist length ponytails that’s all.
    You are just assuming that lower league team footballer girlfriends are uglier than girlfriends from the big 4 – fact is there are more than 44 very good looking girls in the world (BTW that’s, ignoring squad players, 11 (how many players in a football team) x 4 (number of football teams) – just incase watching football is too low class for you.
    Seriously – this conversation is beyond ridiculous now.

  36. Hmmm what we’re all forgetting is that Henry needs to find a girl who looks up to him, appears interested in anything and everything he has to say or can at least fake it, the type of girl he’s talking about has one thing – looks so it’s pretty easy to smile and apper interested because they’re looking through pounds signs and there’s nothing going on up top!! Sadly he can only gaze from afar at all the hot girls in GS et al who can see what he’s about and find him tragic!

    The hot girls at GS Reply

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