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Morning Coffee: The hottest investment banker you’ve never heard of. Pinto in prime position at J.P. Morgan

Stephen Pitts

What’s life like when you’re the most desirable investment banker in Europe, if not the world? Try asking Stephen Pitts, recently of Deutsche Bank.

While some bankers enjoy media attention, Pitts has always been distinctly low-key – until yesterday’s Wall Street Journal revelation that he’s moving to Bank of America provided him with a new prominence.

Pitts won’t be joining BAML until June. In reflection of his seniority (and of what other former Deutsche MDs say are the German bank’s harsh non-solicitation clauses), Pitts will have a full six months gardening leave. He’ll have to give up his tax-efficient lifestyle in Zurich to work for BAML in London, but in return we presume he’s getting a generous guaranteed bonus from his new employer – which makes sense in light of doubts about this year’s bonuses at Deutsche Bank. 

What makes Pitts so special? It helps that he works in leveraged finance. It helps too that he works in leveraged finance for the highly active telecommunications sector. More than this, though, it helps that he has Softbank as a client. As we’ve noted before, Softbank’s $93bn Vision Fund is set to be one of the most important private equity buyers of the coming decade. Pinto is their man – not least because the Vision Fund is effectively run by a cabal of ex-senior Deutsche bankers whom he’s worked with before.  In investment banking you are never hot on your own account – it’s all about who you know.

Separately, if you’re in London you need to get to know Daniel Pinto at J.P. Morgan. London-based Pinto has just been promoted as co-president of J.P. Morgan along with Gordon Smith. Pinto is head of the investment bank; Smith is head of the consumer division. When Dimon departs, it will be Daniel or Gordon, or both. Either way, Pinto is a person to watch.


Deutsche Bank bonuses have become a political issue in Germany. (Telegraph) 

Milan makes its pitch for banks post-Brexit (Daily Mail) 

Senior management at UBS is “immensely frustrated” at the bank’s slow growth on Wall Street and plans to make, “strategic hires,” to remedy it. (Financial Times) 

Nomura hired 15 bankers on Wall Street last year. (Bloomberg) 

“In the old days, investors said we were too reliant on FICC,” Blankfein says, “Now, all investors focus on is the decline.” (Financial News)  

The average annual compensation for a female law firm partner in London is £502,841, compared with £667,521 for their male peers. (Financial Times) 

Nouriel Roubini slates bitcoin and blockchain: “Bitcoin should be a serviceable unit of account, means of payments, and a stable store of value. It is none of those things. No one prices anything in Bitcoin.” (Project Syndicate) 

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