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Morning Coffee: The bank which employed too many jerks. Bankers’ wives speak up

deutsche Bank culture

Once upon a time, under Bob Diamond, Barclays was known for a policy of excluding jerks from getting jobs at the bank. Through a process of exhaustive interviewing, anyone with disagreeable personality traits was identified and directed to the rejection pile. This might be why Barclays is sometimes known as a comparatively pleasant place to work for even now. Under Anshu Jain and his predecessors, however, Deutsche Bank appears to adopted the opposite tack.

In a long article about Deutsche’s origins and the situation in which it currently finds itself, the Financial Times says that in the 1990s and 2000s Deutsche set out to employ people who wanted to make money, no matter what. “Deutsche always hired mercenaries into the investment bank,” one former senior executive tells the FT, “They didn’t care about ethics.” Nor did it help that Deutsche historically encouraged internal politicking by often placing two people into the same role and pitching them against one another, or that Edson Mitchell, founder of the investment bank, had “Wild West attitudes” to risk taking, or that Deutsche’s U.S. business was built on the acquisition of Banker’s Trust, which came with its own set of nefarious goings-on after staff there were caught shifting dormant customer money into the bank’s own accounts.

This, suggests the FT, is  both the bank and the set of bankers that current CEO John Cryan has inherited at Deutsche. While Cryan himself is “dry-witted,” “plain-speaking,” “cultured” and “parsimonious”, legacy Deutsche staff – especially those who’ve worked for the bank for over a decade, are likely to be the exact opposite. It’s Cryan’s job to get these leopards to change their spots. Good luck to him. Mitchell’s ethos was that, “If you don’t have $100m by the time you’re 40, you’re a failure.” With that attitude baked into the DNA of Deutsche’s investment bank, Cryan faces an uphill task.

Separately, spare a thought for anyone married to a (male) banker. Following claims two years ago that bankers were awarding “wife bonuses”,  Quartz has a piece by a sociologist who’s spoken to wealthy women, many of whom are married to men who work in finance. These women complain about negative perceptions and the supposition that they’re undeserving. Many have college degrees and feel they’re wasting their talents. Their husbands hold all the money and all the power and they’re forced to conceal their use of paid childcare. One, who used to be a banker herself, says: ““[I’m] well-educated. I had a career. You know, where is all that now?…There are power dynamics, where he’s the breadwinner now, and I’m really not. And yet, I do so many things for the family that you can’t put a number on it.”

Meanwhile:

Javier Oficialdegui, a longstanding friend and colleague of Andrea Orcel, will now be running UBS’s investment bank in EMEA. (Financial News) 

Fresh from cutting 100 staff, fund manager Janus Henderson is now ready to meet its cost target. (Financial News) 

A French fund manager in Dublin is offering voluntary redundancy packages. (Bloomberg) 

Contract roles in the City of London are actually up 23% year-on-year. (CityAm) 

Citi is dabbling in its very own cryptocurrency: “Citicoin.” (Seeking Alpha) 

Natixis, queen of exotic trading. (Bloomberg)

Gary Cohn tacitly reveales that he slept through years of Goldman Sachs media training. (Dealbreaker) 

Low status males find women particularly threatening. High status males don’t. (PlosOne)

Flight diverted after wife uses sleeping husband’s finger to unlock phone, flies into a rage when she finds he’s been having an affair. (Guardian) 


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Comments (2)

Comments
  1. All the former DB jerks now run UBS!

  2. Stop already with the clickbait headlines. that’s so 2015!

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