Bonuses at UBS weren't bad this year: headhunters say the banks' traders and investment bankers were mostly happy. However, senior people are leaving.
You may not have noticed the exits because they're not happening in London or New York - yet. They're in Australia. In the past week, the Australian Financial Review reports that Dane Fitzgibbon, a UBS managing director (MD) and co-head of equity capital markets, has quit. So has the other co-head, Barry Sharkey. Fitzgibbon spent 13 years at UBS and is moving to Brisbane with his family. Sharkey spent 11 years at UBS and plans to spend time with his 'four children and dog.'
The exits might simply be dismissed as post-bonus retirements of the kind we're already seeing among partners at Goldman Sachs. Except the AFR thinks there's more to it than that. It says that Fitzgibbon and Sharkey's exits coincide with the vesting of options issued to UBS executives around the financial crisis.
In fact, our own perusal of UBS's remuneration reports suggests Fitzgibbon and Sharkey are more likely to have given up on cashing bonuses from the crisis era. Options issued to senior UBS bankers in 2007 expired on 28th of February 2017, worth absolutely nothing at all. While senior Goldman Sachs bankers were able to cash in crisis-era options days before they were due to expire thanks to a Trump-induced increased in Goldman's share price, UBS's 2007 options have died underwater. They were due to vest at between CHF67 and CHF73. UBS's current share price is CHF16.2, So much for that then.
Separately, Morgan Stanley may not pay super-well, but it has some pretty fine cuisine. Zach Friedman, one of the bank's former executive chefs has been recalling his days catering to 30-50 senior Morgan Stanley bankers with fondness. “We changed our menu every day. It was like a secret kitchen where “the stainless steel shines like no other stainless steel shines,” says Friedman. The bankers in question were fed, 'Iberico pork, foie gras, truffles, and whole animals.' This was the early 2000s: it's possible that Morgan Stanley MDs only eat parts of animals now.
I don't recall ever seeing foie gras and truffles on the menu at the Goldman Sachs cafeteria, but maybe I just wasn't executive enough. (Bloomberg)
The shift to quantitative investing is playing out at Man Group: its discretionary fund has been hit by redemptions while quant fund assets rose 20%. (Financial Times)
How about a year's secondment to Bridgewater now Ray Dalio's semi-gone? There's a new “Bridgewater Senior Fellowship Program,” which will bring highly distinguished individuals into Bridgewater for a year to explore what our culture is like and lend their expertise and insights to our organization." (Business Insider)
Maybe you can get a job on the buyside? Buyside fixed income trading desks have had their budgets increased 3%! (The Trade News)
Pugnacious British fund manager moves to Mauritius: "It is much more convenient in terms of its time zone than London for dealing in Asian markets, and I find being away from the ‘noise’ of London helpful.” (The Times)
It's possible banks won't move jobs out of London after all. Take Morgan Stanley, which was going to move 1,000 bankers and is now only moving 300. (Bloomberg)
When UBS sought cryptographers to test blockchain technology, it posted encrypted tweets about the job. “If you could decrypt them, you knew where to go.” Forty to 50 applicants showed up. (WSJ)
Blackrock cut bonuses for the first time since 2011. They're down 2-4%. (Bloomberg)
A taxi driver will overcharge you if he finds out you're on expenses. (Economist)
Self-employed ex-Wall Street analyst still gets up at 5am, pulls on jeans and a jumper, whizzes up a smoothie and opens his laptop. (Financial Times)
Get the Steve Bannon shirt look. (Esquire)
Photo credit: UBS by thetaxhaven is licensed under CC BY 2.0.