SocGen wants to hire for its fixed income currencies and commodities (FICC) business. Maybe that’s just as well, because the French bank’s FICC business is having a few issues and could probably do with some fresh blood.
SocGen’s newly released fourth quarter results reveal that revenues in its FICC business plummeted 39% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same period of 2012. Bloomberg points out that SocGen’s revenues have receded faster than others’ – at the five biggest US banks FICC revenues fell only 4.2% in the last quarter. At Deutsche Bank, FICC fell ‘only’ 31%. So, what went wrong at SocGen? Credit results were ‘lower in a challenging market context,’ says the French bank. Short term rates trading revenues weren’t too hot either.
Fortunately, SocGen’s FICC problems were mitigated by an outstanding performance in its equities sales and trading business, where revenues rose 93% on 2012. And the bank as a whole was buoyed by the strength of its French consumer business. Still, SocGen’s FICC operations look highly susceptible to market conditions, which may prove food for thought for potential recruits when the bank goes out hiring for its credit business in Europe and its rates and currencies businesses in Asia and the US.
Separately, the Evening Standard interviewed Amanda Stavely, the deal-maker with Arabic contacts who secured Barclays’ £3.5bn lifeline from the government of Abu Dhabi during the financial crisis in 2008. Stavely rose the hard way. Despite coming from a wealthy family, she was told her brother would receive the entire family inheritance. After suffering from anorexia, Stavely dropped out of Cambridge and began managing the accounts of a restaurant. From there, she secured funding to regenerate the Stocks Country Club near Cambridge, where she worked from four in the morning until late at night and met many of her Arab contacts. Stavely then set up a tech conference business which she sold to a telecom firm, for stock, before the firm went bust. That left Stavely with nothing. “I had a few nights living without accommodation,” she said. “The weird part was that I remember having this Burberry coat. I thought I must be the only person with a Burberry coat who doesn’t have a roof over my head. I spent a night in the doorway of a bank in the City of London.”
Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about M&A stars the Zaoui brothers (in French). (Vanity Fair)
Bank of America trader claims she was unfairly fired on the pretext she wasn’t sharing information. (Bloomberg)
Genetic inheritance necessary for success at Goldman? It helps if your father is a maths professor. (Quartz)
George Soros’ ex-girlfriend went berserk during deposition and smacked the 83-year-old billionaire in the head. (NY Daily News)
Brevan Howard shuts emerging markets fund, dumps one of few female traders. (City Am)
Goldman offends women by handing out cosmetic mirrors and nail files at a women’s coding event. (NY Times)
Barclays’ scorecard. (Giles Turner)