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Morning Coffee: The quirky $650k job that doesn’t require a degree. How to slap down a prankster with style

Silhouette of Themis with building background

Chances are that if you’re working for an investment bank, hedge fund or private equity firm, you’ll be highly-qualified (or at least attended a top university) and towards the upper crust of society. Yes, these jobs are (very) well-paid, but you deserve it, right? You’ve got the qualifications and beat hundreds of thousands of other applicants to the role.

But what if you could be in the top 1% of earners without even going to university. Bloomberg has been given an insight into the ‘wheeler-dealer’ world of London’s Clerks, a role that acts as a kind of broker between solicitors, which provide legal advice, and barristers who deal with the action in court. It’s a Victorian-era profession, which you can get into as a teenager with no formal qualifications. Oh, and earn around £500k ($650k) a year.

Clerks’ role is essentially ensure that solicitors direct work towards barristers – or, as some barristers call it, acting as a pimp. The downside is that these roles are subject to their own quirks and rules – no two Clerks can share the same first name, which means newbies often have to give up their Christian names if it clashes with an existing member of staff. Then there’s the ‘trollies’ – every morning junior clerks lug heavy boxes of legal documents around the streets of London, up and down stairs of antiquated buildings. Still, no slow encroachment of technology here, but also not many women Clerks.

One advantage is that Clerks, often from working class backgrounds, get to exert some power over the private-school educated barristers who rely on them for a steady supply of cases at the right price. There’s also the more unsavoury side – Bloomberg reports incidents of Clerk’s being asked to dress a boil on a barrister’s back, or countless stories of being asked to buy gifts for barristers’ mistresses. Every job has its downsides.

Separately, while the world worries about malware attacks, top bankers should be more concerned about hotmail or gmail. Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has been duped by the same email prankster who tricked Barclays’ CEO Jes Staley into believing he was having an exchange with the bank’s chairman John McFarlane. This time, the 38-year-old web designer from Manchester pretended to be Anthony Habgood, the chairman of the Court of the Bank of England, by using the fake email address anthonyhabgood@hotmail.com to converse with Carney. After a brief exchange about the drinking habits of Eddie George, the former Bank of England governor, ‘Habgood’ steered the conversation towards a personal party and the use of “dashing bar ladies”. Carney slapped this down: “Sorry Anthony. Not appropriate at all.” Then stopped replying.

Meanwhile:

How Jamie Dimon should have responded to angry shareholders: “I understand why people are upset by CEO pay. We earn a lot. That’s something that our board and compensation committee need to keep looking at.” (Financial Times)

Goldman traders have defected to BNP Paribas (Bloomberg)

Deutsche Bank’s global head of multinational coverage, Robert Snell, has left (Financial Times)

In Q2 Barclays will post the biggest drop, Morgan Stanley may gain, says J.P. Morgan (Bloomberg)

You can buy your lunch using bitcoin at Fidelity (Financial Times)

Time to move into insurance (WSJ)

Aberdeen Asset Management is hiring data scientists (Financial News)

Martin Wheatley, the former head of the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority, has just joined a hedge fund (Financial Times)

People are unusually confident in their abstract perception of time (NY Mag)

“There were certain pieces that if you went from hedge fund, to fund, to fund—they were always there. Always the Warhol dollar sign, the graphic Christopher Wool, ironic Richard Prince, the Robert Longo, and the Basquiat, always a Basquiat; it was like a checklist.” (Artnet)

Contact: pclarke@efinancialcareers.com

Image: Getty Images

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