So you thought banking had become a nicer place to work following all those well-publicized efforts to reduce young bankers’ working hours? How wrong you were.
As widely predicted by everyone with any small amount of knowledge of the industry, banks’ attempts to curtail weekend working by enforcing Saturdays-off or requiring that one weekend in every four be spent out of the office have had little affect on young bankers’ lifestyles. They’re still working just as hard as ever. They’re just not working Saturdays.
The New York Times spoke to a selection of young bankers about their working regimes under the new rules. One Goldman analyst said he now has to work harder during weekdays to compensate for his new Saturdays off and that he only recently stayed in the office until 4am on a Monday. An analyst at Barclays said he’d worked every day from Thanksgiving (November 27th) to late February, including Christmas and New Year’s Day. An analyst at JPMorgan had to submit a request in January to spend a night at a Broadway show in February, and was then expected to remain in email contact throughout the performance. “I don’t know if my life improved at all,” he told the NYT reflectively.
While young M&A bankers continue to sacrifice the semblance of a life outside work to the pitch book machine, Bloomberg’s big interview with Bill Gross, co-founder of bond fund manager Pimco, contains an interesting snippet about Gross’s nemesis and Pimco’s ex-CEO, Mohamed A. El-Erian. El-Erian’s sleeping patterns have already been subject to investigation here. Initially reported as getting up at 4.45am, it was later suggested that El-Erian roused himself at 2.45am. Gross seems to put El-Erian’s wake up time even earlier – Bloomberg reports that while he worked for Pimco, El-Erian was going to bed at 9pm and getting up again at 1am He’d spend several hours writing before heading to the office for 5.30am.
As with young bankers, El-Erian’s lifestyle doesn’t seem to have left much time for anything else. This doesn’t seem to have gone unnoticed by his daughter. Bloomberg spoke to former colleagues (Gross?) who said that El-Erian, ‘ regularly referred to a list his daughter had made of all the recitals and other milestones he’d missed.’
On the academically immaculate individuals who would be bankers today: “Most of them, if they ever had a personality or original thought in their head in the first place, have hammered it down so deep into their subconscious they couldn’t summon it on pain of death… They haven’t lived at all. They’ve followed a career path.” (EpicureanDealmaker)
31-year-old Och Ziff hedge fund trader James (Jimmy) Levin, has been paid $119m in stock. Levin met Mr Och whilst teaching his son to water ski. (WSJ)
Here’s how your hedge fund compensation will evolve over time. (Business Insider)
Banned from making ‘role-based allowances’ by the German regulator, Deutsche is planning to hike salaries for its control staff. Anshu Jain and Jürgen Fitschen are getting their salaies increased by almost two-thirds. (Financial Times)
Deutsche Bank pay pyramid here. (Financial Times)
The British government could start selling down its stake in RBS later this year. (Telegraph)
Head of VTB in London says the bank is coming under unreasonable regulatory pressure from the Bank of England. (Financial Times)
RBC is a nice place to work. It has a “no asshole” hiring process. (Bloomberg)
Standard & Poors says Europe’s high yield market is overheating. (Financial Times)
London’s skyline before and after the skyscraper explosion. (Spiegel)
One man quits Goldman Sachs to become trailer park mogul. Another quits hedge fund to buy a truck wash. (FA-Mag)