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Morning Coffee: The three secrets for making it in investment banking. Wall Street preparing to party like it’s 2007

Houlihan Lokey, investment bankers, investment banking, investment banks, elite boutiques, boutique investment banks, Dodd-Frank, deregulation, Wall Street

Three is a magic number.

In the hyper-competitive investment banking job market there are deal-breakers, there are nice-to-haves and there are must-haves.

Scott Beiser, the CEO of investment bank Houlihan Lokey, says one of the biggest challenges he faces is ensuring that the boutique’s employees stay engaged and energized. The bank is growing, and as a smaller firm, it faces competition from bulge-bracket players. In an interview with Business Insider, he said there are three things that it takes to make it in finance. 

The most obvious thing, and any graduate recruiter will tell you this these days, is that you have to have some sort of passion for finance. Beiser uses phrases like “love” and “it has to be part of your DNA.”

Secondly, as automation creeps into investment banking advisory, Beiser says that it’s not about the data – it’s about communicating it to the parties involved in the deal. “And whether that’s the client, whether that’s the seller versus the buyer, the lender versus the borrower, it’s a judge … or some other constituency. So you have to be successful in articulating what is important and how to convey that whether it’s your side or the other side. And that’s not necessarily a talent I believe they teach you in the schools anymore. So some people just have it, are born with it, or maybe they developed it through some other work experience.”

Finally, he says you’ll need to be able to work with people – specifically, you’ll need to be OK with answering to a lot of people who want to tell you what to do. MDs, VPs, clients – these are ultimately all your bosses. “So you have to have a talent to be able to juggle your schedule and work well with multiple people,” he says. And you may not get along with every single one of your fellow employees and every single one of your clients, but you need to be able to get along and in sync with the vast majority of them. And some people I don’t think are geared to be in the service industry, because they’re much better to work for one client, one boss, one task at a time.”

Separately, the powers-that-be on Wall Street may have been losing patience waiting for President Trump to fulfill his promise to “do a big number” on the Dodd-Frank Act, but slightly more than six months into his administration, regulators are preparing to ease a wide range of rules.

Trump is struggling to advance his legislative agenda in Congress. However, his administration has begun laying the groundwork to change some of the many rules that Wall Street wants to be watered down or overturned.

Financial deregulation efforts to roll back rules governing trading desks, bank boardrooms, corporations’ financial disclosures and more are gaining steam, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Multiple agencies are reviewing the Volcker rule that limits banks’ trading, while regulators recently dropped a plan to restrict bonuses on Wall Street that had been opposed by banks and brokerage firms. Further, the Labor Department on Wednesday disclosed an 18-month delay in the so-called fiduciary rule that requires brokers to act in clients’ best interests when they handle retirement accounts.

“It is a time to…determine where the pendulum has gone too far,” said Craig Phillips, counselor to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and a former investment banker and senior executive at BlackRock.

Meanwhile:

Many traders are taking vacation this month, and after a prolonged period of calm, drama is hitting the markets. (Bloomberg)

Democratic lawmakers have renewed their effort to get a powerful House Republican to investigate Deutsche Bank’s loans to Trump and the bank’s role in helping Russians move billions of dollars from Moscow to the west. (Bloomberg)

Barclays has hired Stephen Dainton, a former Credit Suisse executive, as global head of equities. (Financial News)

UBS lured David Chin out of retirement to run its investment bank in Asia after various defections of China-focused bankers. (Bloomberg)

J.P. Morgan will charge as little as $10k a year for equity research, the lowest price to emerge so far. (Bloomberg)

The City of London is going to suffer with or without a Brexit transition deal. (Business Insider)

Investment bank Gleacher Shacklock blamed the Brexit vote for a deals drought that has more than halved its profits and caused revenues to fall 37%, leading smaller bonuses for staff. (The Times)

A Wall Street analyst’s hot mic snafu had bankers listening in to Snap’s Q2 earnings call in stitches. (Business Insider)

One of the highest-paying jobs in regulating Wall Street is about to be open – and the boss is taking applications for the chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, which oversees the country’s largest accounting firms and their audits of public companies and broker-dealers. (WSJ)

Brevan Howard Asset Management is preparing new liquid quant hedge fund offerings based in the U.S. (HFMWeek)

A banker is playing an increasingly powerful role in the HBO fantasy-drama “Game of Thrones.” (MarketWatch)

Should public schools teach all children how to code? (Bloomberg)

Commuting to and from New York City via helicopter was popular 50 years ago, and now it’s making a comeback. (Bloomberg)

Photo credit: RichVintage/GettyImages

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