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Morning Coffee: The senior M&A bankers who aren’t worth the money. Lloyd Blankfein’s secrets

Older M&A

Being a senior M&A banker can be a hard and thankless grind. As author William Cohan, a former M&A MD at J.P. Morgan, wrote a few years ago, managing directors in the industry face, “an endless-seeming succession of late nights, ruled by the demands of clients and bosses.” MDs exist in a, “constant fugue state, rushing from one meeting to the next,” said Cohan, constantly hoping an executive will pursue a deal they’re advocating.

Nonetheless, there are clearly fears that senior M&A bankers don’t do much to justify their high six or seven figure salaries. – Why else would Matthew Westerman at HSBC feel the need to monitor what his M&A MDs are up to all day? Now, Ken Moelis, the deal-making monster at Moelis & Co. thinks he has pinpointed the problem. – He says some senior M&A bankers get stuck in a rut when they’re “late in their career” and only want to cover their existing accounts. By comparison, Moelis says MDs who are, “early in their career” are keener to work as part of a team in a “collaborative effort” and to cover “complex situations.”  Moelis is 59, and could therefore be argued as late in his career himself. Either way, his argument sounds suspiciously ageist.

Separately, late in his career Lloyd Blankfein, aged 62, has told Goldman interns a few things about himself. Blankfein says he likes junk food, specifically cookies. He really likes chocolate cookies – “I am the chocolate cookie king of the world.” He also likes reclining, although generally feels an impetus not to: ““I think, oh my God, I have to go outside or I have to do something… My favourite day is like when it’s raining and I can just lie on the couch”.

Meanwhile:

Ex-Goldman partner reappears at Jefferies one year after leaving Goldman Sachs. (Business Insider) 

If you’re promised a £15m bonus by someone whose drunk “a lot” of alcohol and is engaging in “banter”, it actually doesn’t mean anything. (Bloomberg) 

70% of European government sovereign debt is currently arranged through London, but the EU may legislate to stop this after Brexit. (Reuters) 

Deutsche Bank is about to make its former board members pay “substantial sums” towards its past misconduct. (NYTimes) 

After the U.S. courts dismissed a case involving a Rabobank trader, two Deutsche Libor traders have a chance of being exonerated. (Bloomberg) 

The new name for Frankfurt: “Mainhattan” (after the river Main that flows through the city). (France24) 

The new new thing: initial coin offerings. ““Traditional investment banks and VCs need to monitor this space closely, it could become very big.” (Bloomberg) 

UK fund managers are going to be subject to the senior managers regime. (Reuters) 

Why your neural network is not working. (Slavv) 


Contact: sbutcher@efinancialcareers.com

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