Investment banks want to be seen as technology companies and need the sort of office spaces that attract cool 20-somethings. Investment banks also want to cut-costs wherever they can – think economy class flights, no mobile phones, tiny Christmas gatherings.
But what happens when a new modern, prudent outlook collides with the banking old school used to the finer things in life? UBS’s ultra-modern new London office has “agile” hotdesks, which means that it only has one desk for every 1.2 employees, supposedly to allow for more flexible working
The FT reports that veteran investment banker Sir David Scholey, a former chairman of SG Warburg and now senior adviser to UBS, is not impressed. Scholey is not only used to his own office, he is used to it coming complete with mahogany desks, bookshelves and classic paintings.
While UBS hasn’t made Scholey suffer the humiliation of stealthily unpacking his laptop and sitting on a desk next to a random analyst every time he turns up at the new office, it has cracked down on design. He still has his own officer, but the ultra-sleek set up at UBS is not in-keeping with old school tastes it seems.
Separately, even after Brexit and the Trump bump for banks fixed income trading teams, few were predicting bigger bonuses on the trading floor. Johnson Associates expected bonuses that were flat to -10% “with some improving trends” and most banks had talked any sort of bonus increase this year.
However, Bloomberg reports that investment banks are, in fact, digging deep. J.P. Morgan is hiking bonuses for rates traders by 20%, it suggests, while both Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are up by 10%. JPM has also increased bonuses for credit traders by 10%.
Lloyd Blankfein “talked tough” with Theresa May on saving the status of the City (Financial Times)
Alasdair Warren has been making some bold, and not entirely true, promises at Deutsche Bank. Salary rises have been accelerated as a result and traders have rebelled (Dealbreaker)
Prop trading is probably not coming back (Bloomberg)
The former COO of Microsoft has left Citadel after just four months. He’s being replaced by a ten-year veteran of the firm (Financial Times)
Mitsubishi has hired Stuart Randell and Anders Maehre from PwC for its leveraged finance division (Reuters)
BNP Paribas is recruiting in equities (Financial News)
HFT gets thwarted by local council on building radio masts as high as the Eiffel Tower in the UK countryside: “In 26 years as a councilor, this is the worst application I have ever seen.” (Bloomberg)
Bond traders in a cold sweat: Jesse Litvak has been found guilty of second MBS fraud (Bloomberg)
Asset managers are hiring governance staff (Financial Times)
Helena Morrissey is joining Legal & General IM (Financial Times)
Silicon Valley is hardest hit by Trump’s ban on foreign nationals (WSJ)
Google employee parental visit curtailed thanks to Trump’s immigration order (WSJ)
HSBC begins layoffs with three senior DCM bankers (Reuters)
Frankfurt prepares for Brexit exodus: “I heard British bankers like their craft beers.” (Guardian)
Weed products should compete with coffee and chamomile, says former banker making cannabis infused chocolates (Bloomberg)
Getting very angry over one thing leads you to lie about something completely unrelated (Wharton)
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