Morning Coffee: Proof Goldman hires the best students, even if they're not great employees. MD exonerated from touching intern

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Fabrice Tourre

You need to be academically excellent to get into Goldman Sachs. Whenever we've looked at the sorts of students who make it through Goldman's recruitment process they seem to have both exceptional grades and a list of prizes to their names. This is hardly surprising: with over 220,000 people applying for what are thought to be little more than 4,000 positions, academic achievement is a clear differentiator.

Fabrice Tourre seems to be one of these academically gifted sorts. After studying at the Parisian college Lycée Henri IV, followed by the elite prep school Lycée Louis le Grand, which also educated Jean Paul Sartre and countless French bankers, he went to  prestigious École Central to read mathematics. Then he went to Stanford and studied a masters in management and engineering. Then he joined Goldman Sachs.

You might remember that Tourre's time at Goldman Sachs wasn't exactly shrouded in glory. Yes, he had a $4k a month apartment on New York's 10th Avenue. Yes, he became a vice president and then an executive director (the latter in London, where he asked for a 20% rent cut to reflect the falling housing market), but Fabrice Tourre will mostly be remembered for being found guilty on six out of seven counts of mortgage fraud relating to the financial crisis and for writing that note to a girlfriend of the time ("More and more leverage in the system, The whole building is about to collapse anytime now! Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!")

Five years on from the court case, and aged nearly 40, Tourre is undoubtedly a changed man. But he's still the same impeccable student. And this academic brilliance seems to have been the foundation of a new career. The Wall Street Journal reports that Tourre has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and is conducting postdoctoral research at Northwestern University. He's also a teaching assistant for a course on asset pricing.

“The reason I picked him up [to be a teaching assistant] was because he was the top student when I taught the course the previous year,” says the professor on the course. “As a TA, you want to be empathetic and help the students, and he did that very well.” In this sense Tourre sounds like the model Goldmanite: excellent academics and an emotionally intelligent team player.  What went wrong?

Separately, following last week's allegations that an MD at a well known bank behaved inappropriately towards an intern, the bank says it's investigated and found the claims to be unsubstantiated. 

Meanwhile:

Sean Hodson, a former bank trader who joined various hedge funds, has reappeared as head of U.S. government bond trading at Citi. (Financial News) 

Barclays is moving 40 to 50 London investment banking jobs to Frankfurt (Guardian). 

Donald Trump’s plan to ban spouses of high-skill visa holders from working will likely push 100,000 people out of jobs. (Bloomberg) 

Earn £1k a day as a "chief feminism officer" (Interim.Team)

Top lawyer at Morgan Stanley would like you to get involved with his very own political party. (Bloomberg) 

Goldman Sachs no longer thinks the UK will win the World Cup. (Business Insider)

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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