Morning Coffee: Bank with a reputation for brutal hours reinforces its brand. New levels of Deutsche Bank dysfunction

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Moelis working hours

Some banks are known for their high pay. Some are known for their exciting deal flow. Moelis & Co., the boutique M&A firm, may have both of these things, but when you're an employee Moelis is best known for one thing: its weighty working hours.

"The hours there were brutal," one (ex-) Moelis analyst told us last year, "-  Most of the time I'd be happy to leave before midnight." Moelis & Co. regularly tops the Wall Street Oasis log of average working hours (they were 83 per week last year, versus 72 at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs). In 2015, a young Moelis analyst fell to his death at a cocaine-fueled party in Manhattan. His father said he'd been working 20 hour stretches and had called his parents in tears at 2.40am. 

In the circumstances, you might think that Moelis & Co. would be ultra-alert to its working conditions, but a leaked email from a "staffer" to a team of an analysts on the Wall Street Oasis website, evokes a distinct sense of plus ça change. In it, the staffer upbraids some members of his 11 person analyst team for not being at their desks at 2am. When everyone's near, "full capacity," and "stretched thin," the staffer says staying (very) late in the office makes sense. Even if analysts have docking stations at home (and can work there instead), he notes that the Moelis office has the advantage of a faster connection, that "your associates (and potentially VP's) are in close proximity,"  and that it's easier to access Bloomberg and "office services."

More importantly, the staffer tells the juniors that for him, checking who's in at 2am is a way to "differentiate among you," suggesting those who are still there will win plaudits for being glued to their desks.

The staffer mostly comes across as horribly passive aggressive, although Matt Levine - a Bloomberg journalist who's worked for Goldman Sachs - says the staffer was actually being nice (for a staffer). There's even the promise of a "class dinner" and "blowing off steam" in the next week. In the wake of the leak, Moelis & Co. has reportedly reminded its staff to treat young bankers well, and says it's hiring-in a big intern and analyst class to help alleviate the pressure on existing juniors. New hires may want to exact reassurances that they won't be expected to stay late too: in 2015, Goldman Sachs commanded its interns to go to bed before midnight and stay away until 7am; Moelis has yet to follow.

Separately, the dysfunction identified by Kim Hammonds at Deutsche Bank seemingly knows no bounds. The Financial Times reports that senior Deutsche executives in London have alighted upon a method of stymieing the bank's Brexit preparations and preventing the migration of their jobs and families to Frankfurt. - They simply don't attend meetings. On one occasion, the FT says senior staff failed to attend a key Brexit meeting after claiming they had a "token" client meeting instead. "Senior bankers who have been working in London for a long time, send the children to expensive private schools and just can’t be bothered to move," says one Deutsche insider. Another notes that rationalisation of IT systems undertaken by Hammonds is only 25% done.

 

Meanwhile:

John Cryan is said to have retreated to his family riverside home in Maryland in a state of deep exhaustion. Maybe he'd like to work for a boutique next time? (Financial Times) 

European Central Bank supervisors asked Deutsche Bank to calculate the potential costs of winding down its investment banking operations. (Reuters). 

This is the first time that the supervisory authority has asked such a simulation from a major bank. (Handlesblatt) 

Larry Fink was awarded $27.7 million in compensation last year, compared to $25.5 million in 2016. (Yahoo) 

Low pay allegations at Google: 'Google pays women less than men for the same or similar work and puts women on career paths with lower pay ceilings.' (Bloomberg)  

The gender pay gap at London law firms doesn't look too bad, so long as partners are excluded. At Clifford Chance, for example, it's 20% without partners and 60% with. (Financial Times) 

One of the son's of Syria's alleged chemical weapons chief is an equity derivatives trader at UBS in London. (The Times) 

New reasons to work for a big bank under MiFID II: “Trading volume is going up to the bulge bracket banks because it’s easier: why bother going to a smaller broker who may not be around next week?”  (Financial Times) 

For nearly all of history and all prehistory, work was an indignity. (Farnam Street) 

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